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7 blasts hit Assam, Manipur on Republic Day

New Delhi: Seven blasts rocked the north-eastern states of Assam and Manipur on the occasion of Republic Day on Thursday even as celebrations were held in other parts of the country with the states showcasing their cultural diversity and the might of security forces.

Five serial blasts by anti-talk ULFA (Independent) shook upper Assam as low intensity IEDS were detonated in Charaidow, Sibsagar, Dibrugarh and Tinsukia districts, police said.

In Dibrugarh town, the blast took place just 500 metres away from Chowkidingi Parade ground where the national flag was being unfurled at an official function.

Due to high security in the area, the militants threw the bomb into a drain near a tea garden where it went off, police said.

Two powerful bombs were blasted simultaneously by suspected militants in Manipur’s Imphal East and West districts, police said.

One blast took place at Mantripukhri near 69 CRPF Battalion barrack in Imphal East district. There was no report of any casualty in the blasts. Only a brick wall was damaged in Manipur, they said.

In Vishakhapatnam, more than 100 youths, including Telugu actor Sampoornesh Babu, were detained by police ahead of their proposed silent protest called to demand special category status (SCS) to Andhra Pradesh.

Meanwhile, in the state capitals, Governors took the salute at traditional parades marking the occasion when on this day in 1950 India became a republic.

Chief Ministers unfurled the national flag as the states showcased the country’s cultural diversity at parades where smartly dressed contingents of security forces held march pasts. Colourfully decorated tableaux also displayed the rich cultural traditions.

Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal, following the blasts in Assam, said the government will continue to fight insurgency and people of the state are united against it.

On the occasion, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said Indian democracy has to be guarded against “Hitlerite forces”.

PTI