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PM visits Assam, ULFA shuts it down

Last updated on: April 20, 2012 12:55 IST

PM visits Assam, ULFA shuts it down

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Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Friday arrived in Guwahati for a day-long visit amid tight security arrangements, in spite of a bandh called by the United Liberation Front of Asom.

Dr Singh was received at the airport by Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi and Governor J B Patnaik. He was then taken to the Nehru Stadium in the heart of the city by an M-18 Chopper of the Air Force.

The PM then visited Dr B Barooah Cancer Institute at Birubari area in the city to inaugurate a new state-of-the-art facility for cancer patients. The CM accompanied Dr Singh during his visit to the cancer institute, but the media was kept away due to security reasons.

Minister for Development of North-Eastern Region and the Chairman of the North Eastern Council Pawan Singh Ghatowar welcomed Dr Singh at the B Borooah Cancer Institute.

Reportage: K Anurag in Guwahati

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Image: Roads in Guwahati remained deserted due to the bandh call


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PM visits Assam, ULFA shuts it down

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Police and paramilitary forces, under the supervision of the Special Protection Group which is in charge of the PM's security, have made elaborate security arrangements in the city for the PM's visit.

The routes on which Dr Singh's convoy will travel have been made out of bounds for common people. The entire Nehru Stadium complex has been fortified since the last few days.

Dr Singh is in the city to participate in a function to mark the Platinum Jubilee of the Assam assembly, among other activities.

The glittering function will be held at the parade ground in the state Capital Complex at Dispur. The function will be attended by a host of dignitaries that will include governors and ministers from all north-eastern states, Minister of state in the Prime Minister's Office Mr V Narayanasamy, freedom fighters, legislators and Members of Parliament from the region.

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PM visits Assam, ULFA shuts it down

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After the function, the PM will proceed to Raj Bhavan for lunch. He will then chair a meeting with Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi and his Cabinet colleagues.

Dr Singh has been representing Assam in the Rajya Sabha since 1991. He has a rented house at Nandan Nagar in Sarumotoria area in the city.

Meanwhile, the anti-talks faction of the outlawed ULFA has called for a 12-hour bandh today to protest against the PM's visit.

Normal life was severely affected due to the bandh.

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PM visits Assam, ULFA shuts it down

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All business establishments and education institutions have remained closed. Public transport system has been thrown out of gear in Guwahati and other urban areas of the Brahmaputra Valley during the bandh hours.

The state government has instructed its employees to attend office during the bandh hours to avoid being penalised for unauthorised absence. But the attendance in government offices is bound to be thin because of conveyance problems.

Guwahati has been put under tight vigil because of the bandh call and the police have arrested two ULFA cadres from Candara area while they were collecting extortion money.

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