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Security alert in north Bengal

By Our Special Correspondent

KOLKATA, JAN. 25. A security ring has been thrown around North Bengal in view of a possible militant strike on Republic Day tomorrow. Additional forces have been deployed in the district to keep vigil on areas bordering Bangladesh, Nepal and Bhutan.

Security has been tightened on key railway bridges, railway stations and airports. According to D. Rabha, spokesman for the North-Eastern Frontier Railway, 19 trains have been cancelled and 17 re-scheduled. "Mostly locals, these trains have been cancelled because the passengers will have to undergo overnight journeys," he told The Hindu.

The Kanchenjangha Express, starting from Sealdah, will terminate at New Jalpaiguri today and tomorrow instead of Guwahati, its usual destination. On the Guwahati end, several trains have been cancelled for today and tomorrow.

The Brahmaputra Mail from Dibrugarh will also not travel through Assam tomorrow.

Security has been stepped up in areas where the Kamtapur Liberation Organisation has a strong presence.

"We have taken all possible measures to resist any attempt by the militants to mar the Republic Day celebrations," Subrata Narayan Sarkar, IG, North Bengal, said.

"We are taking all precautions to thwart violence."

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