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ULFA to target Congressmen in Assam

G Vinayak in Guwahati | November 01, 2004 11:18 IST

The Assam police has stepped up security for important leaders of the Congress party following a direct threat by the banned United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA) to target ruling party members to avenge the killing of five top cadres of the outfit last week.

The threat, issued by the ULFA's self-styled commander-in-chief Paresh Barua, prompted the police to declare a statewide alert. Police chiefs of all the districts have been told to beef up security for Congressmen and keep a strict vigil over the situation.

Director General of Police P V Sumant said top police officials had reviewed the security scenario in the light of the ULFA threat and that steps had been taken to tighten security measures. Security cordon around the Janata Bhavan, the seat of administrative power, Congress headquarters 'Rajiv Bhavan', MLAs' hostel and ministers' residences has been increased.

The police has asked all Congress ministers and MLAs to exercise maximum alert and inform the police about their movements. They have also been asked to restrict, as much as possible, their movement after nightfall.

Additional Personal Security Officers have been deployed and the district police units have been asked to take provide security to Congress leaders on the basis of individual threat perceptions.

S Kabilan, who took over as chief secretary of the state on Sunday following the retirement of J P Rajkhowa, reviewed the law-and-order scenario in the state with top officials of the home department and the Assam police.

This is not the first time that the ULFA has threatened Congressmen in Assam. Between the late 1980s and mid-1990s, the outfit had killed many Congress workers and leaders. But by 2001, the ULFA had changed tack and had in fact indirectly helped the party regain power in the 2001 assembly elections. In three years, the situation has changed.


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