38 ULFAs surrender ahead of R-Day celebrations

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Guwahati, Jan 24 (UNI) The stepped up counter insurgency operation to prevent any possible strike by the ULFA before the Republic Day celebrations got a boost today, when 38 ULFA militants surrendered before the authorities.

Today's surrender took place at Tamulpur, about 65 km from here near the Indo-Bhutan border, in the presence of the Army's 4 corps GOC Lt Gen J S Jamawal and Assam Director General of Police (DGP) R N Mathur.

The ULFA team was led by Narayan Kakti, a self-styled sergent major of the militant's 709 battalion group, located in lower Assam.

''This is the battalion, which has been carrying out a series of explosions rpt explosions in Guwahati but fortunately most of them were intercepted by the police in the last few days,'' says DIG Central Western Range G N Singh.

The ULFA militants laid down 26 arms and ammunition; Majority of them were nine mm pistol. There were 18 grenades and 30 kgs of explosives, besides 22 detonators.

The Army officials present in the function said majority of the surrendered explosives were meant for explosion inside Guwahati city. So far only once the security umbrella was breached when a low intensity bomb exploded on Tuesday night, in the Railway colony market.

''We have put checking points in all possible routes to Guwahati.

That included railway, road and riverine routes,'' said Mr Singh.

''In all the recent incidents, the bombs were assembled outside the city and brought in through unsuspecting couriers like vegetable vendors,'' he said.

Meanwhile the main R-Day parade ground of Guwahati has been turned into a fortress with no direct access to the ground barring the security forces since yesterday. The state government has kept the list of ministers and their destinations a closely guarded secret, so that no militant organisation can target them.

UNI MT-PB KK PY AS1705

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