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Braving ULFA threat, Sonia to inaugurate National Games
K Anurag in Guwahati | February 03, 2007 17:56 IST
Congress president Sonia Gandhi will inaugurate the 33rd National Games in Guwahati on February 9, braving the threat from the United Liberation Front of Asom.
Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi on Saturday confirmed this and assured the safe and smooth conduct of the National Games in spite of intelligence inputs about the ULFA's plan to disrupt the Games.
"We have intelligence inputs that the ULFA will try to hamper the Games. But our security arrangements will be adequate enough to thwart any such attempt," he said.
He denied reports that the state government had struck a secret understanding with the ULFA to facilitate a smooth conduct of the National Games. " Had there been any such understanding with the ULFA, our intelligence reports would have spoken otherwise," he said.
Gogoi claimed that so far about 10,000 sportsmen and officials from different states had confirmed to participate in the Games.
Gogoi renewed his appeal the ULFA to withdraw its call for boycott of the Games in the greater interest of the state and sports.
"The ULFA should read the writing on the wall, the people of the state want a smooth Games. The image of the state is at stake," he said.
When drawn to reports about ULFA attacks on Congress workers in the state, Gogoi expressed concern over the killing in Upper Assam. So far, seven Congress local body leaders have been gunned down.
Gogoi called upon party workers to remain alert as it was not possible to provide personal security to the thousands of Congress workers in the state. He, however, denied to have received any official communication from panic-stricken congress workers expressing their desire to quit the party.
Gogoi disclosed that his government would give a new direction to its development strategy to neutralise insurgency. He said from now onwards the focus of development would be on remote, inaccessible areas along inter-state and international boundaries where insurgency was thriving taking advantage of lack of development.
He said that the activities of the ULFA was now confined to such under-developed remote areas and pointed out that most of the recent killings by the militant group were carried out in such areas.