Guwahati: To commemorate ten years of the 2008 serial bombings, in which 81 people were killed and at least 400 sustained injuries after 11 bombs went off across Guwahati and western Assam on October 30 that year, families of victims and injured persons gathered under the Ganeshguri flyover in the city on Tuesday.
Incidentally, Ganeshguri was one of the several places where one of the blasts took place.
Recalling the ‘Black Day’ in Assam's history, Talep Ali, who sustained major injuries during the incident, said: "One cannot forget those horrific moments. I heard the sound, I blacked out immediately. When I regain my consciousness, I saw bodies scattered all over."
Ali, who used to sell vegetables just across the blast site under the flyover in Ganeshguri, had found some of the flesh missing from his stomach after the blast. After undergoing treatment for months, he recovered physically, but could not erase the scars left behind in his heart.
On the fateful day of October 30, as many as 11 bombs were detonated in Kokrajhar, Barpeta, Guwahati and Bongaion. The Bodo militant outfit, National Democratic Front of Bodoland (NDFB), took responsibility for the serial blasts.
Condoling the death of the victims, veteran Congress leader Tarun Gogoi, who was the chief minister of Assam during that time, said, "I tried to provide as many jobs as possible to the families of the victims so that they can have stable earnings. However, the Bharatiya Janata Party and Asom Gana Parishad leaders, who then demanded jobs for victim's families, are now saying that deserving candidates will be preferred."
Relatives of the blast victims, who were present at the gathering, said that despite the government’s repeated assurance for assistance, they are yet to get job opportunities. Speaking on the issue, Assam education, law and justice minister Siddhartha Bhattacharya said, “Since the time of the blast, the government has been giving assistance to the families of the victims. We have given them education, we have enabled them to get jobs. However, they have to secure jobs out of their own capabilities.”