Updated: May 12, 2021 8:40:31 pm
A 14-year-old boy was killed on Tuesday morning in a grenade explosion in a village in Assam’s Tinsukia district. According to authorities, the blast took place when the minor picked up an abandoned grenade near the Burhi Dihing river in Kotha Adarsha Gaon in Jagun.
Terming it an “unfortunate accidental blast”, the Assam Police said in a statement that the “grenade may have been dropped mistakenly by security forces during routine movement in the area.”
“We extend our deepest condolences to the bereaved family. Further investigation is on,” said the statement.
Confirming the incident, Tinsukia SP Vaibhav Nimbalkar said that a case under Explosive Substances Act was registered under the Lekhapani Police station. “We have seized all the items from the area and are further investigating it,” he said, adding that there was a possibility that the grenade may have been accidentally dropped in the area because it is “frequented by security forces owing to its sensitive nature.”
“Two-three years back an encounter had taken place adjacent to the area, which is located in the interiors. On and off, our security forces keep moving there,” he said.
The victim, along with his brother, was going to the river to take a bath around 8.30 am Tuesday. “His brother was ahead of him. He suddenly heard the blast and turned around to see that his brother was unconscious with the grenade in his hand,” said SP Nimbalkar.
He was, thereafter, taken to Margherita Civil Hospital for treatment, but breathed his last at 10.30 am Tuesday.
SP Nimbalkar said that while the grenade’s placement could have been accidental, they are investigating other possibilities too. Jagun shares its border with Arunachal Pradesh — it is an area that sees frequent insurgency-related incidents, involving banned groups like the United Liberation Front of Asom-Independent (ULFA-I) and the Nationalist Socialist Council of Nagaland (NSCN)-IM).
The incident took place less than 24 hours after new Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma appealed to ULFA-I its chief, Paresh Baruah, to leave the path of violence and return to the mainstream. “Murders and kidnappings… they do not solve problems, but complicate matters,” Sarma had said.
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