Seven explosions were set off in Assam and Manipur on Thursday ahead of Republic Day celebrations. No casualties or damage to property were reported in the incidents. The police in Assam suspect that the United Liberation Front of Assam had a hand in the low-intensity blasts, PTI reported.
Five bombs were detonated in the districts of Charaideo, Sibsagar, Dibrugarh and Tinsukia within two hours. ULFA has a strong base in all these in east Assam districts. The two other explosions were reported in Mantripukhri in Imphal East and near Manipur College, damaging a brick wall.
The blast in Charaideo was reportedly the most powerful of the lot, creating a deep crater at the site. Despite high security present for the Chowkidingi Parade in Dibrugarh, militants threw an improvised explosive device into a drain near a tea garden where it exploded. A group of schoolchildren escaped a low-intensity explosion that took place right in front of them in Dibrugarh, reported The Times of India. After the explosions, Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal said his government would continue to fight insurgency.
A red alert had been issued in Northeast India two days before Republic Day after two jawans were killed in an ambush by militants on National Highway 153 on Sunday. The next day, several insurgent outfits had called for a boycott of Republic Day celebrations in the Northeast, according to The New Indian Express.