Where: Guwahati, Assam, India
January 7, 2009 : A series of blasts rocked Guwahati, the principal town of India’s northeastern state of Assam, on January 1, 2009. Six people died, and 50 were injured. The terrorists who planned the explosions got past New Year’s Day security arrangements with alarming ease. Police said the first blast took place near a hospital, the second near the famous Kamakhya temple, and the third at Bhangaghar, one of Guwahati’s upmarket areas, and home to many of its shopping malls. Indians all over the country were shocked, as they are still coming to terms with the terror attack on Mumbai in November 2008.
The blasts coincided with the visit of the Union Home Minister, Mr. P. Chidambaram, to Assam. It is ironic that the purpose of the Home Minister’s visit was to have discussions on improved security and the prevention of terror bombings like this one, and the one which took place in October, 2008, killing 89 people.
Assam Police believe the bombings were masterminded by Pranjal Deka of the militant United Liberation Front of Assam (ULFA), which runs terrorist training camps in neighbouring Bangladesh. A report in The Times of India dated the 6th of January 2009 cites that in 2008, more people died as a result of terror attacks in India’s North-East than in Kashmir, a long-standing problem zone.