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Statement made by the Union Home Minister in both Houses of Parliament regarding incident of bomb blast at Dhemaji District, Assam

On August 17, 2004, the Union Home Minister, Shivraj Patil, made a statement in both houses of the Parliament concerning the bomb blasts at Dhemaji district in Assam on August 15, 2004. Presented below is the full text of the statement:

August 17, 2004

A powerful bomb explosion took place at 0850 Hrs. on 15th August, 2004 at the venue of the Independence Day function in the Dhemaji College ground, resulting the death of 13 persons (seven male and six female including five school children) and injuries to few others. All the victims were spectators who had come to participate in the function. Critically injured persons have been shifted to the Assam Medical College, Dibrugarh. Preliminary investigations have revealed that the explosion was caused by an I.E.D. planted 40/50 meters from the rostrum near the public enclosure. The explosion appears to be handiwork of ULFA cadres. The Flag was hoisted by the Deputy Commissioner at 0915 Hrs. at the same venue.

There were two other incidents in Assam on Independence Day. In one incident an I.E.D. explosion took place in the Dhakuakhana, Normal School field, Dhakuakhana sub-division of North Lakhimpur District at 0755 Hrs. In this incident an I.E.D. was buried just beneath the flag post. No casualty has been reported. The explosion was caused by timed device planted well in advance and ULFA cadre are suspected to be behind the act.

In the second incident an I.E.D. explosion took place after the Independence Day celebration function at the Gauripur Field in the Dhubri District at 1320 Hrs. No casualty has been reported as public had already left the venue after the morning function.

The State Government has placed the Superintendent and Additional Superintendent of Police under suspension for the security lapses. The Deputy Commissioner is also being replaced. State Government has also declared ex-gratia grant of Rs. 3 lakhs each to the next of kin of the deceased and Rs.50,000/- each to the seriously injured. Rs.10,000/- each will be paid to those who suffered minor injuries. All the medical expenses of the injured will be borne by the State Government.

State mourning was observed on 16th August and peace processions and public meetings condemning the dastardly acts and asking the militants to shun acts of violence are being held today.

The Government of India shall provide all the assistance required by the State Government to counter the acts of violence and insurgency, perpetrated by the militants.

Source: Press Information Bureau, Government of India.





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