Assam blasts: PM says government not soft on terrorism

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Guwahati, Nov 1 : Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh on Saturday strongly rejected the charge that the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) Government was soft on terrorism and said there will be no compromise on this account.

Dr. Singh was talking to reporters after visiting the injured in the Assam blast in the Guwahati Medical College hospital this afternoon.

He said, whosoever is responsible for the dastardly act will be dealt with sternly.

While answering a question on the involvement of terrorists from across the border in the blasts, Dr. Singh without naming Bangladesh said New Delhi would take up this matter with them and that proper investigations are on to find out the culprits.

The Prime Minister accompanied by the UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi and All India Congress Committee (AICC) General Secretary Veerappa Moilly, arrived in Guwahati on Saturday afternoon to take stock of the situation in the wake of Thursday's serial bomb blasts at Guwahati, Kokrajhar, Barpeta Road and Bongaigaon in Lower Assam.

Expressing solidarity with the people of Assam, Dr. Singh said the state and the Central Governments will do everything in their power to ensure that normalcy is restored.

He also conveyed his sympathy to all the families affected by the blasts, which left over 70 people dead.

Earlier, the Prime Minister and the UPA Chairperson visited the blast site at Chief Judicial Magistrate's Court in Guwahati. They also visited the Mahendra Mohan Choudhury Hospital and met the injured.

The Prime Minister and UPA Chairperson reviewed the latest situation in the state with Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi, his cabinet colleagues and senior officials of the state government at Guwahati's Borjhar airport before their departure for New Delhi.

Union Home Minister Shivraj Patil, who is already in Guwahati, visited the blast sites at Kokrajhar and Barpeta Road today and said both the Centre and the state government would ensure that such incidents do not recur.

The Police in Guwahati have arrested three persons, including the one from whose mobile phone the SMS claiming responsibility for the blasts by Islamic Security Force (Indian Mujahideen) was sent.

Inspector General of Police (Law and Order) Bhaskarjyoti Mahanta while talking to reporters said three Maruti cars with ammonium nitrate, plasticisers and programmable time devices were used in the bomb blasts in Guwahati.

He further said the bombs were planted in three Maruti 800 cars at Fancy Bazaar, Pan Bazaar and Ganeshguri in Guwahati, while a motorbike was used to carry out the blast in Bongaigaon.

The owner of one of the cars used in Fancy Bazaar blast from Nagaon has been arrested, said Mahanta.

At least 78 people were killed and over 300 injured in the serial blasts in 12 places of Guwahati, Kokrajhar, Barpeta Road and Bongaigaon within an hour's time on Thursday.

ANI

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