ULFA reissues denial, blasts probe still inconclusive

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Guwahati, Nov 1 (UNI) The investigative agencies of both the Centre and state government have failed to make much headway on Thursday's serial blasts in Assam, except for some suspicions that the attacks might be a joint operation of the HuJI and ULFA.

IGP (Law and order) Bhaskar Jyoti Mahanta told newspersons here today that the investigating teams had tracked down the original owners of each of the vehicles used in the three car bombs in Guwahati.

''It has been found out that in each of the cases either the vehicles were sold off long back or stolen. But as a precautionary measure, we have picked up each of the owners,'' he said.

An SMS sent to a local television channel ''Newslive'', last evening, further made the scenario complex as it was being suspected that a highly sophisticated communication network was using the phone numbers of some genuine customers to divert the investigation.

''After we got the news of the SMS, we swung into action and caught the original owner of the number, Nazeer Ali. It seemed that his SIM was copied and was being used. His SMS list did not contain any record of the text message claiming responsibility for the blasts. But during the time of despatch of the SMS, the phone was active near Dhing,'' he said.

''This could be a diversionary tactic or may be a genuine one, we are not leaving any stone unturned to come to a conclusion,'' Mr Mahanta said, adding a that Special Investigation Team (SIT) for the blasts would be led by IGP Chanranathan.

He said Forensic Science Laboratory (FSL) Director Padmapani Mahanta himself had the engines of each the vehicles used in blasts thoroughly checked and found out the engine number.

The terrorists had used three separate Maruti cars, all bought or stolen recently. While one was stolen, another one was bought from Pallavi Motors while the third one from Itanagar.

''We have asked the DIG(SB) of Itanagar to give us the name of the original buyer of the vehicle,'' he said, admitting that most of the leads to the blasts reached a dead end.

However, Assam DGP R N Mathur informed the Cabinet this morning that investigation was progressing well and was on track.

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