Guwahati: More arrests are likely soon as Assam Police has intensified its search across the state in connection with Wednesday’s grenade blast in Guwahati that left 12 people, two of them critically, injured.
On Thursday, a special investigative team of the state Police nabbed a pro-talk United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA)-Independent leader Pranamoy Rajguru and his accomplice Jahnabi Saikia, a small-time actress, in connection with the incident that took place near the state zoo on the busy RG Baruah Road around 7.50 pm on Wednesday.
They were nabbed from Saikia’s rented accommodation in the Bagharbari area of the city. They were sent to 10 days’ police custody on Friday.
But who exactly are these two people?
Rajguru, who hails from Sivasagar district of the Assam, had joined the banned militant outfit way back in 1986.
“Operating under sleeper cells in Guwahati and adjoining areas, Rajguru helped the outfit execute their plans, and was assisted by Jahnabi Saikia. They have confessed to the crime, and our investigation will continue,” Guwahati police commissioner Deepak Kumar said on Thursday.
Expressing shock over Pranamoy’s arrest, his wife, Korabi Nath Rajguru, said that she came to know about the arrest only through the media. “It is true that he was associated with the militant outfit for a long time. But I still doubt his involvement in the grenade blast in Guwahati,” she said.
However, she requested the authorities concerned to give stringent punishment to her husband if he is found guilty.
Jahnabi Saikia, the woman arrested in connection with the blast, is a resident of Amolapati area of Assam’s Sivasagar district. Saikia, who took a rented house in Guwahati’s Bagharbari area about 10 days ago from where she was arrested, was a small-time actress in Assamese films and TV serials. Rajguru allegedly used to visit her frequently in the rented accommodation, said the police.
It is also alleged that Saikia did not have a good term with her husband, Dr Amrit Saikia, a physician based in Sivasagar district, for the past 10 years. While talking to media persons, Dr Saikia said that his wife applied for divorce long ago and that the legal process was underway.
Commenting on the relationship between her wife and the pro-talk ULFA leader Rajguru, Dr Saikia said that he was aware of Pranamoy’s association with his wife much before as the ULFA leader used to visit his home frequently. “Jahnabi introduced Pranamoy to me as her brother. I warned Pranamoy not to keep any relation with my wife and visit our house,” Dr Saikia said, adding: “As she has already confessed to her involvement in the crime, I will ask the authorities concerned to deliver stringent punishment as per the law.”
Soon after the grenade blast, the state police have intensified their search operations in and around Guwahati and more arrests are likely in this case in the days to come.
Meanwhile, to get more clues in the ongoing investigating process, a special forensic team is analysing the CCTV footages collected from different locations of the city.
Significantly, according to sources in the Assam Police, Paresh Barua, the commander-in-chief of ULFA (I), has been contacting old cadres of the outfit who are either not involved with the peace talks or not satisfied with the progress. It is also informed that these former members of the ULFA are working in different ways like giving shelter to members of the outfit. However, the authorities have directed the district superintendents of police to keep a close watch on the activities of the former militants of the outfit.
Along with the arrest of Rajguru and Saikia, the special investigation team of Assam Police also recovered a 9 mm pistol, 25 rounds of live ammunition, 40 kg of explosives and gelatin sticks used for making grenades, besides some incriminating documents from the rented house in Bagharbari area of Guwahati.
At least 12 people were critically injured in the grenade blast that occurred on Wednesday evening in front of Guwahat Central, a shopping mall, on the RG Baruah Road of the city.