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Parrot that warned of Assam blasts
Published on 29 Oct. 2009 11:50 PM IST
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As Assam completes a year of the horrific serial bombings Friday, little Mithu's heroics have been completely forgotten. The casualties would have been much higher had the pet parrot not alerted her owner Bijoy Banthia. Mithu went berserk on that black Oct 30 morning - shouting and jumping in her cage in the heart of Bongaigaon town in western Assam. "I knew something was wrong with Mithu behaving abnormally that morning. I realised the behaviour was signalling something ominous and hence became cautious," Banthia told IANS recalling that incident. Peeping out from the first floor of his house, Banthia saw a motorcycle parked outside his shop, Town Stores. "I don't know what made me think that some danger was awaiting, I called up the police and informed them about the unattended motorcycle," Banthia said. A police bomb squad arrived in no time and soon the fear came true - a powerful timer device packed with TNT explosives was found fitted to the motorcycle. Police and army teams craned the bike to an isolated location to detonate it - but unfortunately the bomb went off, injuring 11 people, most of them security personnel. No one died though. Assam was a literal killing field Oct 30 last year when eight powerful explosions rocked three districts of Assam - Guwahati, Kokrajhar and Barpeta - claiming about 100 lives and wounding more than 500. But not too many people know that it was Mithu's warning call that had saved a tragedy in Bongaigaon. "Had it not been for Mithu's alertness, Bongaigaon town would have almost certainly witnessed a similar bloodbath with heavy casualties, as the area remains crowded," said Anil Das, a resident. A year down the line, Mithu is equally alert and her cage is in the same place as last year. "Last month, just a few minutes before the massive earthquake (of 6.3 magnitude tremor Sep 21) rocked the region, Mithu warned us by shouting and behaving abnormally. We knew something was going to happen and Mithu was right," Banthia said. Mithu, however, is totally oblivious to the favour she has done to her human friends and is happy simply with a feed of nuts and seeds!

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