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Assam ready to seek FBI help
G Vinayak in Guwahati |
October 05, 2004 16:01 IST
Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi is willing to take help from the American Federal Bureau of Investigation to probe into the recent series of blasts in the state -- provided the Centre agrees to the proposal.
Addressing the media in Guwahati on Tuesday morning, Gogoi said the US ambassador to India David C Mulford has written to him offering "technical assistance" from the FBI. "Of course the Centre has to first agree to any such move," Gogoi clarified.
Assam has been witness to an orgy of bloodletting by two banned outfits, the National Democratic Front of Bodoland and the United Liberation Front of Asom, over the last weekend in which at least 52 people have been killed and over 200 injured.
Neighbouring Nagaland was also hit by three big bomb blasts in its commercial capital Dimapur in which at least 36 people died. the deadly plastic explosive RDX is suspected to have been used in these blasts.
Mulford offered condolences to the victims of these attacks and their families. "The United States has considerable expertise in investigative techniques including, for example, such areas as forensic analysis of explosive residues. Should you find it helpful, the FBI would be pleased to provide technical support for your investigation. I have also made this offer to Home Minister Shivraj Patil," Mulford said in his letter to Gogoi.
Patil was in the north-east on October 3 and 4 and at the end of visit talked about a coordinated approach between different states in the region to tackle the rampaging militants. "We will do everything possible to help the region bring the volatile law and order situation under control as we will not allow it to happen any more. I fully agree with the Assam chief minister that a well-coordinated counter-insurgency operation across the region is needed at the moment," he said.
Gogoi has been advocating a unified operation ever since militants of the banned NDFB and ULFA were driven out of their hideouts in the jungles of southern Bhutan in the wake of Operation All Clear launched by the Royal Bhutan Army in December 2003.
"The militants are now spread all over the region after their dispersal from Bhutan," Gogoi maintains. He now wants New Delhi to take up the matter of destroying Indian militant bases in Bangladesh and Myanmar with Dhaka and Rangoon respectively.