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In North East, Chidambaram does some hard talk

January 02, 2009 20:48 IST

In a tough warning to northeastern insurgents, Home Minister P Chidambaram [Images] today said that no quarter will be given to militancy and those threatening the country's integrity and sovereignty will be dealt with "decisively".

"If leaders of the banned organisations are listening to this as I speak now, or read about it in tomorrow's newspapers, or watch it on television later in the day, they must get this clear message that the chief minister and his government will deal with development issues and security forces will deal with members of banned organisations which threaten India's sovereignty and security," he said.

Chidambaram was talking to media persons after a two-hour meeting of the Unified Command a day after three blasts in the city left five dead and 50 wounded.

"No quarter will be given to militancy. Broad guidelines have been given to the army, paramilitary forces and Assam Police. These will be finalised and more sharply focused operational strategy will be drawn up by the operations group," he said.

Without naming ULFA and NDFB, Chidambaram said it is "regrettable" that leaders of at least two banned organisations have found "sanctuary" in Bangladesh.

"Bangladesh has not had an elected government for some time. Fortunately, elections have taken place in Bangladesh and the prime minister-elect has made a very positive statement that she will not allow the country to be used as launching pad for terror and she will join India in fighting terror," he said.

Chidambaram said "we hope to make a new beginning and we can neutralise the leadership of these banned elements which have found sanctuary in Bangladesh".

The home minister, who visited the Guwahati Medical College Hospital to meet some of those injured in yesterday's blasts, complimented Assam Police "for acting swiftly".

"I have expressed my appreciation for the good work done by it (Unified Command) and have requested it to continue the good work," he said.

Rejecting the charge of Intelligence failure, he said the Centre had inputs about the blasts. "In fact, Intelligence was building up over the past few days and on the evening of December 31, we had shared the Intelligence with the state government. On first (January) morning, I spoke to the chief minister," he said.

"The Assam Police nearly succeeded in apprehending him. (a suspect). But just that little bit of luck was not there. He escaped...This time Assam Police was not lucky. This time that chap was lucky. Next time Assam Police will be lucky," he said, adding manhunt was still on.

"We condemn these bomb blasts and we are determined to catch the perpetrators...I have full faith in the ability of the Assam police to capture them," he said.

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