Guwahati - An attempt by ULFA's anti-talks faction to trigger at least two blasts in Guwahati, ahead of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's visit April 20, has been foiled and three rebels arrested, police in Upper Assam's Tinsukia district have claimed.
Police in the sensitive upper Assam district said they arrested three militants of the anti-talks faction Tuesday night and recovered two grenades from their possession. One of the three arrested is a woman.
Tinsukia Superintendent of Police (SP) P.P. Singh told IANS that one of the arrested, Paban Das, was assigned by the top brass of the outfit's breakaway faction to bring the grenades to Guwahati and trigger blasts ahead of the prime minister's visit.
"Based on specific intelligence, we arrested Paban Das Tuesday night from the bus terminus in Tinsukia town when he was about to board a Guwahati-bound night super bus and recovered the grenades from his possession," Singh said. Later, two other ULFA activists, Jaya Boro and Ganesh Das, were arrested from the same bus terminus.
"We are still interrogating the three," the police officer said.
"Paban Das has admitted that he was on his way to Guwahati to trigger blasts ahead of the PM's visit April 20. The woman, Jaya Boro, who is a hard core cadre of the outfit, acted as a carrier. She handed over the grenades to Paban Das in Tinsukia," according to Singh.
"Paban, who hails from Goalpara district, went to Tinsukia a few days back to bring the grenades to Guwahati," he added. The third ULFA cadre, Ganesh Das, also was assisting in the mission.
"The three have also confessed that they were being coordinated by Babul Gogoi, a senior leader of ULFA's anti-talk faction," Singh said.
While the majority of the United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA) leadership has given up armed struggle for an independent and sovereign Assam, a breakaway faction led by the outfit's commander-in-chief Paresh Barua has opposed any talks with the central government.
The Assam police have made elaborate security arrangements to foil any attempt by the outfit to disrupt the April 20 visit of the prime minister, particularly after the outfit called for a 12-hour, protest Assam shutdown on that day.
The prime minister will visit the B. Barooah Cancer Institute to open two new facilities for the cancer patients. After that, he will visit the Dispur Parade Ground to inaugurate the Platinum Jubilee celebrations of the Assam legislative assembly.
A senior police official said that the prime minister, upon his arrival in Lokapriya Gopinath Bordoloi International (LGBI) airport at Borjhar near Guwahati, will be flown to the Nehru Stadium by a special helicopter.
"From the Nehru Stadium, he will go to the B. Barooah Cancer Institute and Dispur Parade Ground by road," said the official.