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Such violent acts only harm ordinary people: Manmohan

Sunday 27 May 2007

Special Correspondent

Additional paramilitary forces sent to Guwahati

`Such incidents will not weaken resolve of the Government: Patil Strategy being worked out to counter recent surge in violence

NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Saturday condemned the bomb blast in Guwahati in which seven persons were killed and 30 injured. "Such violent acts only harm the lives of ordinary people," he said.

Expressing his sorrow, the Prime Minister has sent his condolences to the bereaved families.

Union Home Minister Shivraj Patil also condemned the blast, which occurred on the eve of Tarun Gogoi Government’s completion of one year in office. He expressed condolences to the kin of those killed and wished speedy recovery to those injured.

Mr. Patil said such incidents would not weaken the resolve of the Government to deal strongly with divisive forces in Assam and other North-Eastern States.

Highly-placed Home Ministry sources said that a strategy to counter the recent surge in violence, sponsored by the outlawed United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA), was being worked out by the Ministry in consultation with the Assam Government.

The Home Ministry also made available additional paramilitary forces in Guwahati to tighten security in Assam and help maintain law and order in the aftermath of the blast. The Home Ministry directed the State Government to remain vigilant and ensure that peace was maintained, a Ministry spokesman said.

Home Secretary Madhukar Gupta spoke to the State Chief Secretary to take stock of the situation. The Special Secretary (Internal Security) also spoke to the State police chief.

Increase in violence

Home Ministry’s figures show an increase in ULFA-sponsored violence in Assam in recent months with the militants resorting to kidnapping, extortion and blasts after the failure of the peace initiative. Officials said that till March 31 this year, there have been 156 incidents in Assam compared to 85 during the same period last year.

Likewise, 99 civilians were killed during the first three months this year as against 31 during the corresponding period of 2006.

Ministry sources said that ULFA, with which the Government declared a month-long ceasefire last year but called it off following the outfit’s refusal to come to the negotiating table, accounted for over 50 per cent of the violent incidents last year.

See online : The Hindu

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