ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Black Thursday in Assam

A deadly social and economic cocktail threatens to break out into a communal conflagration.

In the series of bomb blasts that have blighted cities and towns across India over the past year, the acts of terror that ravaged four urban centres in Assam on 30 October and killed 80 people constitute a special threat to the social fabric. Assam has been racked by violence for more than two decades and the multi-ethnic, multi-religious character of the state is under siege every day. Now, the people of the state have to cope with this new form of terror.

The coordinated manner in which the high-intensity blasts were carried out at Guwahati, Kokrajhar, Barpeta and Bongaigaon within a time span of just about 30 minutes on that Thursday has made a mockery of the claim by the state government that normalcy was returning to Assam after the communal flare-up in Udalguri and Darrang that left over 50 people dead, scores injured and almost 100,000 displaced. Though it is still premature to draw a link between the events of Udalguri-Darrang in early October and the 30 October blasts, it is significant that apart from Guwahati and Barpeta, the blasts were carried out in Kokrajhar and Bongaigaon, both of which fall within the Bodoland Autonomous District Council. Moreover, the claim by the little known outfit, the Islamic Security Force (ISF), that it carried out the blasts adds a new dimension to the already complex scenario of the state.

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