An Army colonel and a jawan were killed in a blast, suspected to be triggered by National Democratic Front of Bodoland militants, on the Assam-Arunachal Pradesh road at Bhalukpung on Monday morning. The Army vehicle, in which the official was traveling, was completely damaged due to the impact of the blast.
Colonel S M Parimal was a doctor in the Army and based in Tenga Valley in Arunachal Pradesh. He and his driver, Ashwini Kumar, were traveling from Tezpur to Tenga Valley Army base when the blast occurred.
Their bodies were badly mangled due to the blast. However, five personal security officers of the colonel, who were trailing the official in a different vehicle, remained unharmed.
The improvised explosive device planted on the highway was triggered by a remote control switch. Flexible wires that had been used to trigger the blast were recovered from the area.
Sonitpur district is a strong hold of the anti-talks faction of the NDFB, which is led by fugitive commander Ranjan Daimary, the prime accused in the serial blasts that had rocked Assam on October 30, 2008. The NDFB has served extortion notices on all the prominent businessmen in the Bhalukpung and Chariduar areas.
The Army recently killed at least eight NDFB militants in Sonitpur district in an intensified operation against the outfit.