Assam on alert on ULFA's 'Army Day' eve

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Guwahati, Mar 15 (UNI) Security arrangements have been heightened across Assam on the eve of the outlawed ULFA's 'Army Day' tomorrow, even as two ULFA militants were gunned down today.

The ULFA rebels, on the other hand, shot dead a tea garden worker, while a police team had a miraculous escape when a blast went off seconds after the police vehicle crossed the spot late last night.

The security forces had been put on alert to thwart any subversive attempt by the proscribed outfit, known to strike during its 'Army Day' on March 16.

Checking of vehicles as well as frisking was being carried out at all points in the state, including the capital city of Guwahati. Bus depots and railway stations were being closely watched, while security around vital installations had been beefed up.

Meanwhile, two ULFA militants were gunned down by a joint team of police and Army in Silikhapathar area in North Lakhimpur district at about 0400 hours.

One 7.65 pistol, one .38 revolver and ammunition were recovered from them.

However, two-three ULFA rebels managed to escape under cover of darkness, police added.

In a separate incident at Mayuri tea estate in Golaghat district, the cook in the house of the garden manager was shot dead by ULFA militants in an extortion-related case at about 0100 hours.

A group of about six militants had called upon Ratia Gaur (55) at about 12 midnight and enquired about the owner of the tea estate.

The militants stayed back for about an hour and shot dead Ratia from close range before leaving.

A patrol vehicle of the officer in-charge of Kakotibari police station in Sibsagar district had a narrow escape late last night when a blast went off seconds after the vehicle had passed the spot while returning from night patrol.

ULFA rebels, holed up near the blast site, opened fire on the vehicle.

Police, too, retaliated the firing, though the militants managed to escape.

None was injured in the blast.

UNI SG SJC RN1740

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