The Brahmaputra Mail train bombing
was a terrorist attack on a train travelling in Lower Assam
in Eastern India
on 30 December 1996. The bomb totally wrecked three carriages of the train and derailed six more, killing at least 33 people.
The bomb was of unknown composition, and had been left next to a line of track between Kokrajhar
stations. It is likely the bomb was detonated by a remote control device, and timed to cause maximum destruction, as the Brahmaputra Mail
passenger service to New Delhi
came past at high speed.
Official reports claimed that 33 people were killed in the explosion, but the remote region in which the blast occurred and government desires to minimise the impact of the attack has led some commentators to question this figure. Some have claimed that 100 fatalities is a more likely figure.
The Indian government blamed the attack on an Assamese separatist organisation, the Bodo Security Force
, and although they have not admitted guilt, they were conducting a medium-intensity guerilla war against the Indian government at the time of the blast. The line was also used by military trains (see Gauhati rail disaster
), which might have been the group's intended target.