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2008 Agartala bombings case : 4 convicts get life term imprisonment
2008 Agartala bombings case : 4 convicts get life term imprisonment
PHOTO : Police escorting convicts of Serial bomb blast at Agartala to court premises. TIWN Pic April 28

AGARTALA, April 28 (TIWN): The additional District and Session Court Judge S.B. Dutta on Tuesday awarded life term imprisonment to the 4 convicts of Agartala bombings case took place during the year 2008. The punishment was awarded after at least 7 years. Public Prosecutor of the case was R P Roy and Special Public Prosecutor was L R Khadim. The 4 convicted are Kumari Debbarma, Dinesh Debbarma, Sachindra Debbarma and Vikash Debbarma. They were accused on charge of influencing the bombings took place at Agartala during the year 2008. However on Saturday the Additional District and Session Court Judge S.B. Dutta convicted the 4 accused the case. All the blasts took place within a span of 45 minutes and the capital city of the relatively peaceful North-Eastern state of Tripura was put on the terror map.Crude bombs were apparently used and timers were used to set them off. The bombs were planted on cycles and motor bikes while two other bombs were recovered and defused.The blasts went off at Agartala's main shopping area Maharaja Ganj Bazar, Gobind Ballah Pant market, a busy Radhanagar bus stand, Agartala Motorstand, Bottala and Abhay Nagar localities. The first blast happened at Gul Bazar around 7:30 pm (IST), followed by two more at Radha Nagar Bus stand and G B Bazar, around 7:35 and 8:15 respectively. In the 2008 Agartala bombings at least 4 people were killed and a 100 injured on 1 October 2008 in a series of 5 blasts set off in Agartala, capital of the Indian state of Tripura, within 45 minutes, while two unexploded bombs were defused.Bangladesh-based terror group Harkat-ul-Jihad-e-Islami (HuJI) alongwith Tripura's NLFT, ATTF were responsible for serial bomb blasts in Agartala.

It is  to be mentioned that there were five blasts on 1st October, 2008 evening at the capital city Agartala killing four people and injuring 100 others.

The fourth at Palace Compound. An unidentified man was killed in the blast at Radhanagar bus stand while another person succumbed to injuries.Meanwhile, eyewitnesses said two persons riding a motorcycle were seen moving suspiciously at Radhanagar bus stand and the blast took place about three minutes after they left the area.

The wounded were rushed to G.B. Pant Medical College and Hospital. Tripura police spokesman Nepal Das at that time said that two were high-density blasts, the third a low-density one. Though SP of West Agartala KV Sreejesh contradicted Das about the intensity of blasts, "All bombs were of low intensity. It was meant to create panic before the Durga puja celebrations."

The police suspect the involvement of Bangladesh-based terror group Harkat-ul-Jihad-e-Islami (HuJI), a group which has been frequently blamed for attacks in Uttar Pradesh and Hyderabad. HuJI which has been using Tripura as a transit route lately, as the state shares a porous 856-km border with the neighbouring country. Three suspected HuJI members were arrested in Agartala in the last two months. Tripura has long been a conduit for smuggling and terror merchandise, most violence in the state had been related to insurgencies of tribal groups.

Tripura's two main insurgent groups, the National Liberation Front of Tripura (NLFT) and the All-Tripura Tiger Force (ATTF) have not had a history of carrying out bomb attacks on civilians. However, a possible link between the two outfits and Bangladeshi Islamist groups like Huji had not been ruled out by security agencies. Tripura's long border with Bangladesh, as well as the presence of senior leaders of both NLFT and ATTF in Bangladesh have increased the likelihood of logistical support to Huji.

Experts from the National Security Guards (NSG) began an investigation seeking to find the nature of explosives used. The team of NSG experts, led by Major Karam Bir from New Delhi, and a team of experts from the National Forensic Laboratory in Kolkata investigated along with Tripura police officials.

At that time in 2008 DIG, Nepal Das said six persons have been arrested in connection to the attacks. Four persons, including one of those seen on a bike at the Radhanagar bus stand shortly before the blast there, were arrested on the same night of the explosions. And additional two others were arrested later.

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