Prime suspects identified in Assam serial blasts:Gogoi

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Guwahati, Nov 21 (UNI) Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi today claimed that all the suspects directly involved in planting bombs in the October 30 serial blasts have been identified, except in Kokrajhar.

''Except in Kokrajhar, the people directly involved in executing the blasts at the other places have been identified. There are suspects in the Kokrajhar case, but it is yet to be confirmed,'' Mr Gogoi told reporters here.

Nine powerful blasts had rocked four towns in simultaneous blasts on October 30--three each in Guwahati and Kokrajhar, two at Barpeta Road and one in Bongaigaon. The death toll has reached 88 so far, with 30 injured still undergoing treatment at various hospitals.

Over 400 were injured, who have been since discharged.

Altogether 15 people have been arrested so far, and several others detained.

Mr Gogoi informed that ex-gratia to the victims and their families have been mostly paid and the remaining would be covered within next five days.

Claiming that investigation was progressing in the right track, the chief minister said, ''We cannot expect instant results, it will definitely take some time.'' He, however, refused to divulge details, and reconfirmed the involvement of ULFA and NDFB in executing the bombings.

Training a finger towards Bangladesh for sheltering militants who carry out sabotage attempts in the state, he said, ''All militant outfits of North East are getting support in Bangladesh. There is no doubt that the brain behind the blasts is in Bangladesh. We are investigating into the exact identity of the mastermind, but the main source is definitely in Bangladesh,'' he said.

The chief minister announced that greater vigil would be maintained along the porous Bangladesh border to check infiltration as militants are also reported to sneak in through these points.

On the communal tension in northern Assam's Udalguri and Darrang districts, Mr Gogoi said the situation was improving and no fresh incidents had been reported.

He informed that around 55,000 people were still sheltered in relief camps out of the over two lakh people who were staying in these camps.

''Police deployment has been heavy in the sensitive pockets and we are keeping close watch over miscreants,'' he added.

UNI SG PL DB1628

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