Arrests continue in Assam; Toll reaches 86

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Guwahati, Nov 13 (UNI) The investigation into 30/10 Assam serial blasts continued making progress with the arrest of another suspect from Guwahati today, while the NDFB designated camps remained under strict vigil after the confirmation of Bodo outfit's involvement even as the toll touched 86 with another victim succumbing.

Police informed that one Bimal Basumatary was arrested from the city in connection with the blasts, taking the total of arrested to 13 after four were arrested yesterday. NDFB's ''home secretary'' Sabin Boro and Bhutanese rebel leader Tenzing G Zangpo were held yesterday from the city, while two other NDFB cadres were picked up from the designated camp at Borbori in Baksa district after an identification parade.

The designated camp had been cordoned off by security forces since Tuesday night with the NDFB letting in policemen only yesterday.

The state government had confirmed the involvement of NDFB and ULFA in the terror attacks and investigations were on to ascertain the involvement of a third party, though both groups continued denying it.

The ULFA pointed the accusation finger towards the RSS, while the NDFB claimed that it would distance itself from any cadre found involved and maintained that the outfit was not linked.

Police stated that the enhanced security presence around the NDFB designated camps at Baksa, Serphanguri, Udalguri and Kokrajhar would continue as the outfit was found to be flouting ceasefire ground rules.

The National Democratic Front of Bodoland (NDFB) had been in ceasefire since 2005 with the Centre deciding to extend the ban on the outfit, along with that on ULFA, yesterday as the ban period was scheduled to expire later this month.

The arrest of the Bhutanese person, a member of an anti-monarchy group in the Himalayan kingdom, had thrown up the possibility of Bhutan-based rebels, including Maoists, being involved in the blasts.

Both NDFB and ULFA were known to have close links with Bhutan outfits.

The fundamentalists organizations operating from Bangladesh had been the only suspected third party till yesterday with Huji elements being strongly suspected to have masterminded the blasts. Meanwhile, the toll in the nine synchronized blasts reached 86 with the death of a victim in New Delhi's Apollo Hospital today.

Identified as Namita Talukdar, the deceased woman had also lost her husband in the blast.

UNI SG SJC RN1817

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