Militants blow up railway tracks in Assam

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TAKING NO CHANCES: People being frisked by a security man in Guwahati on Sunday after the serial blasts there. PHOTO: RITU RAJ KONWAR
TAKING NO CHANCES: People being frisked by a security man in Guwahati on Sunday after the serial blasts there. PHOTO: RITU RAJ KONWAR

Sushanta Talukdar

Strategy Group of the Unified Command to intensify counter insurgency operations

ULFA mount attacks for third consecutive dayPolice party attacked in Tinsukia district

Guwahati: Suspected militants of the United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA) blew up railway tracks in Sivasagar district and attacked a police party in Tinsukia district on Sunday, injuring two policemen and a civilian, and continuing its attacks for the third consecutive day.

Militants blew up a railway track between Borhat and Sapekhati in Sivasagar district early on Sunday morning by triggering a remote controlled bomb, disrupting train services in upper Assam.

Suspected ULFA militants lobbed a grenade at a police party at Makum in Tinsukia district around 7.30 p.m., in which two policemen and a civilian were injured, said Inspector-General of Police (Special Branch) Khagen Sharma.

Chief Public Relations Officer, Northeast Frontier Railway, Trikalagya Rabha, said the blast on the railway track occurred around 5.40 a.m. damaging about one metre of railway tracks. The Tinsukia-bound Kamrup Express had passed the targeted portion about 15 minutes before the blast occurred. The train services along this section were restored in the afternoon after the tracks were repaired around 1. 30 p.m., he added.

More forces to be sought

The Strategy Group of the Unified Command, which met here on Sunday evening, decided to intensify counter insurgency operations.

It also decided to seek additional forces from the Centre for increasing area domination by security forces in the State in view of the increased activities of the ULFA.

After the meeting, Assam Chief Secretary S. Kabilan told The Hindu that the Strategy Group decided to intensify security measures after a review of the prevailing situation. The Chief Secretary heads the Strategy Group of the three-tier command structure of the Army, Assam Police and Central paramilitary forces engaged in synergised counter-insurgency operations.

Mr. Kabilan said additional forces would be sought as reinforcements, as some forces were withdrawn and redeployed elsewhere during the recent Assembly elections.

"It is not possible to guard every inch or cover every person. Hence for preventing the militants from carrying out further attacks the presence of security forces would be enlarged for area domination," he added.

Asked if there was any rethinking on the recommendation by the Assam Government for releasing arrested ULFA leaders to facilitate dialogue, the Chief Secretary said: "We have already given our recommendation to the Centre. It is now up to the Centre to take a decision in this regard."

Threat to scribes condemned

The Journalists' Union of Assam (JUA) on Sunday condemned the United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA) for its recent threat to four Guwahati-based journalists.

ULFA chief Paresh Barua in a statement on Saturday threatened the four journalists, including former editor of The Sentinel and former chairman, Editors' Guild of India D.N.Bezboruah and Executive Editor of Amar Asom Prasanta Rajguru for trying to expose the eroding support for the outfit.

The JUA, affiliated to the Indian Journalists Union (IJU) has called for a protest meeting on June 14 to discuss the issue.

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