October 30, is a day that will go down in Assam history as a black day because serial blasts occurred on this day in 2008, killing hundreds of people.
The serial bomb blasts in Ganeshguri, Panbazaar, Kachari, Barpeta, Kokrajhar, and Bongaigaon planned by NDFB’s Ranjan Daimary resulted in casualties.
The day, when remembered, still shakes the people’s bodies because 72 lives were lost in Guwahati alone.
Every year on this day, people pay tribute to those who died beneath the Ganeshguri flyover and at the CJM court in Panbazaar.
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On October 30, 2008, 88 people were killed and over 500 were injured when a series of blasts set off by militants ripped through four districts in India’s border state of Assam. After the Mumbai bombings in 1993 and the train bombings in the same city in 2006, it remains India’s third-largest bomb attack.
The bomb in Ganeshguri was planted in a car about 100 metres from the official residence of then-Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi.
The state government immediately issued a high alert and called in paramilitary forces to control a potentially volatile situation.
Blasts torn through Guwahati’s Pan Bazar, Fancy Bazar, and Ganeshguri, which were crowded with customers and office goers. Three explosions occurred in Kokrajhar, with another grenade explosion possible; one in Bongaigaon and two in Barpeta Road.
After 11 years, successive governments have failed to provide adequate compensation to the victims’ families. The perpetrators of the heinous crime are free to roam. Every year, a memorial service is held near the Ganeshguri flyover in Guwahati to honor those who have died. But the million-dollar question remains: when will these death merchants be hanged?
Every year, the families of the deceased urge the government to punish the perpetrators, but the victims have yet to receive the justice promised by both the previous and current governments.
Ranjan Daimary, former chief of the National Democratic Front of Bodoland (NDFB-R), was sentenced to life in prison for his role in the bombings by an Assam court last month. Four of Daimary’s accomplices were sentenced to prison terms ranging from 5-7 years under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act for their roles in the bombings.
Daimary and nine others were sentenced to life in prison in January 2019 by a special court in Guwahati for murder and other charges. A year later, the former rebel leader was granted four weeks’ interim bail in order to travel to Delhi and sign an agreement with the government.
In Assam’s history, this day is known as Black Day. On this day, the victims’ families remember their loved ones with teary eyes. Many survivors recall the harrowing day that claimed the lives of several innocent people.