Blast culprits to be nabbed: PC

GUWAHATI, Jan 3– Union Home Minister P Chidambaram today said that the ultras involved in the two of the three cases of blast that took place in the city on Thursday were identified and the security forces would soon nab them. He also announced that a government decision on extension of the ceasefire pact with the National Democratic Front of Boroland (NDFB) would come up within a day or two.

The Home Minister also claimed that fencing along the Indo-Bangla border in Assam was substantially completed and the gap in the riverine areas only remained to be plugged.

Addressing a press conference after attending a meeting of the Unified Command Structure, Chidambaram said that the State Government was requested to concentrate more on developmental activities, while the security forces were asked to deal with the ‘banned organisations threatening security and sovereignty of the country.’ The strategy group of the Unified Command would evolve more effective strategies to deal with these organisations, he said.

The militant groups signing the statement of understanding (SoU) with the government should adhere to the terms and conditions laid down in the pacts in letter and spirit. Those organisations, which are yet to sign such pacts with the government, would be dealt with firmly, he said.

The NDFB has provided a good point to begin the discussion on the issue of extension of ceasefire with its statement yesterday. The discussion with the outfit on the issue is scheduled for today and tomorrow.

At the moment the Union Government is concentrating on settling the issues related with the NDFB and then it will go for resolving the issues concerning the other four militant groups of the State, the Union Home Minister apprised mediapersons.

On the report of the A and C companies of the ULFA 28 th battalion giving up the demand for a sovereign Assam, he said that officers concerned were asked to collect a copy of the ULFA companies’ statement on the issue and to study it carefully. Reiterating the Government’s stand on the issue of holding discussion with the militant groups, he said that the government was open for talks with those eschewing violence and militancy and renouncing the demand for sovereignty.

On the issue of two of the State’s militant groups taking shelter in Bangladesh, he exuded the hope that the statement made by the Prime Minister-elect of the neighbouring country on the issue would be the basis for a new beginning on the issue. The statement was positive, he said, adding, the people in this part of South Asia were for peace and development.

Avoiding a categorical reply to a question on whether the Government was in a position to name the organisation involved in Thursday’s blasts in the city, he said that as soon as the culprits involved were nabbed their organisational allegiance would become clear to the people.

However, he informed the mediapersons that one of the bombers was identified prior to the incidents, but he could escape the dragnet of the Assam Police, as, a ‘little bit of luck favoured him.’ He left the explosive devices in a garbage dump while giving the police a slip.

Stating that though the Assam Police was not lucky this time, the Union Home Minister expressed the hope that it would be lucky next time in nabbing this militant.

The Home Minister also visited the Guwahati Medical College Hospital this morning and talked to the victims of yesterday blast incidents.

He assured that NSG hubs would be set up in all states of the country in the longrun.