Author: Ankush Saikia

Ankush Saikia was born in Tezpur, Assam, in 1975. He grew up in Madison, Wisconsin; Assam; and Shillong, Meghalaya.
He is the author of four novels, Jet City Woman (2007), The Girl from Nongrim Hills (2013), Dead Meat (2015) and Red River, Blue Hills (2015), and the forthcoming detective novel Remember Death. He is currently based in Shillong and Tezpur.

September 13, 2016 /

On the train coming back to Guwahati I realised that the only certain fact was that 15 dead bodies, including that of the gunman, had been found in the marketplace that day. And yet, my writer’s mind couldn’t stop coming up with further scenarios. Had Islary still been undecided about carrying out an attack when he got down in the market? What if the AK he was carrying under his raincoat had been meant for protection only? Had he counted on the absence of a police outpost at Balajan Tiniali to keep him safe? Was he there to maybe collect money from someone? Or might he have wanted to give himself up? Had he been surprised by the security forces, or had there already been someone at the market waiting for him? One of the things I had kept hearing was the presence of two or three men dressed in black. Might have there been a crossfire? Or was there just a single gunman involved, as claimed by the police, looking to lessen the pressure on his group by a terror strike? And could that claim have then influenced the testimony of the eyewitnesses I had met?