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Army defuses bomb on bus

Guwahati, Dec. 28: Army personnel today recovered a 3.6-kg improvised explosive device (IED) from a Guwahati-bound bus at North Guwahati even as Dispur moved the Centre for upgrading chief minister Tarun Gogoi’s security cover following revelations of Ulfa’s plans to assassinate top leaders.

An army spokesman said a major disaster had been averted following recovery of the powerful IED.

Acting on an intelligence input, troops of the 6 Rajput Regiment intercepted the Guwahati-bound bus at Gauripur near Amingaon at around 11.30 am today. The bus was coming from Mangaldoi in Darrang district.

“While a search was being conducted, the IED, weighing 3.6 kg, was found in an unclaimed bag. It was later defused by our bomb disposal squad,” the army officer disclosed. No one has been arrested so far.

Both the army and police confirmed that Ulfa plans to set off a “big bang” in the capital in the run-up to the New Year.

A home department source said Delhi has been apprised of the threat, particularly to senior ministers and the chief minister.

Gogoi, who is currently in Delhi, gets Z cover security. If this is upgraded to the next level, it will ensure Black Cat cover for him. “It is very difficult to keep the chief minister away from the masses. But we are trying to cut down on the number of visitors calling on him and the public meetings he addresses,” an official said.

In Assam, only former chief minister Prafulla Kumar Mahanta enjoys Black Cat security cover at present. The official said upgradation of security would require a nod from the national security advisory committee.

The state home department has also issued a set of dos and don’ts to ministers facing Ulfa’s threat.

These include restricted movement and use of “decoys” for urgent official journeys by road. The official did not divulge details but hinted that long-distance travel by road at night was among the don’ts.

Police revealed that Ulfa’s gameplan came to light during interrogation of top militant leader Samiran Baruah in Dibrugarh.

Baruah was apprehended in Sonari recently along with two other rebels.

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