This time in Agartala

published on October 1, 2008

2 killed, 76 injured in serial blasts in Agartala

Zeenews Bureau

Agartala, Oct 01: At least 2 persons died and over 76 were injured in five blasts at three places of Agartala town on Wednesday evening. Central intelligence agencies had on September 25 warned the north-eastern states of an impending terror attack and BSF officials here confirmed having received the input.

Blasts took place in the Agartala town and it being the eve of Eid and the on-going Navratri festival, the areas were crowded- thronged by innocent civilians out to celebrate.

Reports suggest the first blast took place at 7.30 pm, the second at 7.35 pm in the busy MG Bazaar of Radhanagar while the third occurred at 8.15 pm.

2 blasts occurred at a bus stand while one in a local market. GB Bazaar and Abhay Nagar locality are the other areas struck by the blasts.

An unidentified man was killed in the blast at G B Market while another person succumbed to injuries.

The condition of five of the injured was stated to be critical.

A live bomb was recovered at Agartala Motorstand while another exploded without causing any casualty as the place had by that time emptied of people. 

Bomb squads and forensic experts examined the blast sites.

A huge contingent of security forces led by senior police officials cordoned off all the four places and the investigations were on.

Das said those injured, including a number of women, were rushed to the GB Pant Medical College and Hospital here.

Panic spread in Agartala – barely one and a half km from the border with Bangladesh – as three bombs were recovered and defused in the heart of the city later in the evening.

Police sources, quoting eyewitnesses, said two persons riding a motorcycle were seen moving suspiciously at Radhanagar bus stand and the blast took place there two to three minutes after they left the area.

“We are yet to ascertain the nature of the blasts and the group behind them,” said Director General of Police Pranay Sahay.

“A red alert has been sounded all over the bordering state and the security forces have been asked to maintain a close vigil over the prevailing situation,” Sahay told reporters.

Police sources suspect the involvement of Bangladesh-based terror group Hizbul Mujaheedin Islamia (HuJI) which has of late used Tripura as a transit route as the state shares a pourous 856-km border with the neighbouring country.

Three suspected HuJI members were arrested in Agartala in the last two months.

A petrol pump, which was near the blast site at Radhanagar bus stand, narrowly escaped.

It was for the first time that serial blasts rocked Agartala but people did not appear to have panicked with many people preferring to remain outdoors even in the blast-hit areas and many organizers of Durga Puja, which begins on October 5, going ahead with preparations for the big occasion.

Barely two days ago, eight people died in crude bomb explosions at Malegaon in Maharashtra and Modasa in Gujarat.

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