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Probe exonerates SP

Guwahati, Jan. 29: The probe into the twin blasts in the Assam capital on Republic Day has exonerated city superintendent of police Hiren Chandra Nath, who in a knee-jerk reaction was held responsible for 'security lapse' and shunted out of office the following day.

The probe by additional director-general of police (CID) Sankar Barua to find out whether there was any security lapse, has put the Tarun Gogoi government on a sticky wicket by giving a clean chit to Nath amid accusations of witch-hunt.

Along with Nath, the government also transferred Kamrup (metropolitan) deputy commissioner A.K. Absar Hazarika, holding the duo responsible for 'serious security lapses.'

The state government was accused of looking for scapegoats by several quarters for its stringent action on January 27, which came even before Barua submitted his report.

Though Barua in his report exonerated Nath and senior officers, he indicted officer in-charge of the Panbazar police station Holiram Bora. However, no action has been taken against him as yet.

'I'll place the report before the appropriate authority first,' said home commissioner B.K. Gohain.

Three other junior police officials were also suspended yesterday.

Gohain said the report has stressed the need to increase the strength of city police.

While asserting that the blasts were a handiwork of the Ulfa, the report also recommended steps to ensure security in Judges Field.

It suggested a 24-hour vigil of the ground, permanent fencing by a brick wall, sufficient lighting, installation of close-circuit television and constructing a concrete floor of the drain which runs along the perimeter of the field.

The report was submitted late last night by Barua. He told The Telegraph today that last night's report was an 'interim one' and he has sent another part to the government today.

'More addendum may follow,' he said.

Sources said Barua was hurried into submitting the report as the chief minister had declared on Thursday that that it would be submitted by yesterday and he did not want to fail on his word on a matter which has already put him in a tight spot politically.

The probe also found that the bomb was planted after January 10, Gohain said.

A pipe bomb was recovered at Narengi area this evening. Two persons were picked up for interrogation.

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