Guwahati, May 15 : At least 12 people, including two SSB jawans, were injured in a suspected grenade blast in front of a shopping mall in busy RG Baruah Road of Assam's main city Guwahati this evening.
Condition of one of the injured is stated to be critical.
The grenade is suspected to have been hurled from a motorcycle from the opposite road, targeting a police-SSB picket in the area.
Director General of Police Kuladhar Saikia, who rushed to the spot after the incident, said investigation has already been launched.
"It is early to say who is behind the attack or what was the target. But we will nab the perpetrators," he added.
He did not rule out the possibility of involvement of ULFA (I) in the attack, with the banned outfit reportedly claiming responsibility for it.
"It could be the handiwork of ULFA (I) out of frustration as they have suffered repeated setbacks due to unrelenting operations of security forces," Saikia said, adding that involvement of ULFA or any other outfit can be confirmed only after thorough investigation.
Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal, condemning the attack, has ordered the director general of police to nab the perpetrators at the earliest.
Guwahati Police Commissioner Deepak Kumar said the blast went off in front of a shopping mall, 'Guwahati Central', near the state zoo and a park, on RG Baruah Road at around 1940 hours.
Forensic and bomb experts have also visited the site to collect evidence.
Kumar added that among the injured are two SSB jawans, who were at the police picket, and all the injured have been admitted to local hospitals, including the Gauhati Medical College and Hospital (GMCH).
The area witnesses heavy footfall at all times as a popular park, the state zoo and a shopping mall are located within a few metres radius.
State Health Minister Dr Himanta Biswa Sharma has confirmed that five injured have been admitted at the GMCH, including the two jawans identified as Amulya Ratan Mahato and Ramesh Lal.
Two other injured have reportedly been taken to a private hospital, while five more are being treated at another private hospital.
Deputy Health Minister Pijush Hazarika visited GMCH to oversee the condition of those admitted, while Education Minister Siddhartha Bhattacharya inspected the blast site.
Meanwhile, local TV channels reported that proscribed ULFA (I) has claimed responsibility for the blast.
The blast comes on a day when the chief minister had reviewed the security arrangements in the main city with top Home department officials.
Sonowal had mooted setting up a police district for Guwahati to ensure better security cover. (UNI)