Security sources said the police recovered the body of a suspected Ulfa (I) rebel from the blast site.
Guwahati: A day before Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit, outlawed United Liberation Front of Asom (Independent) rebels triggered a powerful bomb blast on an oil pipeline at Dikom Chariali in Assam’s Dibrugarh district on Thursday.
The outlawed Ulfa(I) also claimed responsibility for the blast, which they claimed to have triggered to oppose the Prime Minister’s Assam visit.
Security sources said the police recovered the body of a suspected Ulfa (I) rebel from the blast site. He is suspected to have been killed in the blast, which may have been triggered accidentally.
Saying the blast had led to oil pilferage, the security sources said the deceased Ulfa (I) man was identified as Bobby Dahotia alias Palash Asom, who hails from Kakopathar area of Tinsukia district.
In an email to media organisations, Arunoday Asom, Ulfa (I) publicity secretary, accepted responsibility for the oil pipeline blast. It is significant that the Union home ministry had alerted the Assam police about a possible attack by Ulfa (I) rebels in the run-up to the Prime Minister’s visit to Assam on Friday.
The security agencies had in their alert pointed out that some Ulfa (I) cadres were trying to enter Assam from Nagaland to carry out subversive activities in the state to make their presence felt. The Assam police, however, said the blast could be an attempt to steal oil from the pipeline.
The Prime Minister is due to inaugurate the Dhola-Sadiya bridge on the Brahmaputra, the longest bridge in India, on Friday. The bridge is located about 80 km from the blast site.
Mr Modi will also address a rally in Guwahati on Friday to celebrate the completion of three years of his government at the Centre and one year of the BJP government in Assam. He will also lay the foundation stone of an AIIMS to be set up at Changsari town in Kamrup district.
Security has been beefed up across Upper Assam for the Prime Minister’s visit, and additional forces sent to assist the administration, the security sources said.