Guwahati: A major tragedy was averted on Friday when a powerful bomb was found by the Railway Police inside a compartment of the Kanchenjunga Express during a routine search after its arrival at the railway station here.

Police suspect the hand of various anti-peace talk militant groups in Assam which could have been planning to attack trains.

A high alert has been sounded across the state following the detection of the powerful bomb which was a programmable time device (PTD) weighing 4 to 5 kgs and it could have caused a major explosion, GRP sources said.

They said the personnel on duty in the train noticed an unattended small but heavy bag on empty seat no. 22 in S-5 reserved coach at Kamakhya railway station near Guwahati.

"As nobody claimed the bag at Guwahati railway station, where the train arrived at 5.20 am, the GRP personnel suspecting it to be a bomb evacuated about 1,100 passengers on board it and the crowded platform," they said.

They immediately informed the bomb disposal squad whose personnel rushed to spot and covered the suspicious bag with a safety blanket.

Inside the bag was a steel milk can containing a programmable time device, four detonators, sand and splinters, police sources said.

"It was due to the alertness of the railway police men that a major tragedy was averted today," Bhaskar Jyoti Mahanta, IGP (Law and Order), said.

"The GRP did very good work in saving so many lives," he said.

(Agencies)