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Bhutan link in Assam blasts
- Druk National Cong leader held for aiding attacks

Guwahati, Nov. 12: A Bhutanese man who lives in Nepal and fights against the monarchy in the Himalayan Kingdom was arrested today along with a Bodo militant for aiding the October 30 serial blasts in Assam.

Tenzing G. Zangpo, a senior leader of the Druk National Congress, formed by Bhutanese exiles in Nepal, was picked up last night along with the “home secretary” of the National Democratic Front of Boroland, Sabin Boro, from a rented house at Japorigog in Guwahati.

“After interrogation, both of them were arrested this morning on the charge of being part of the conspiracy behind October 30 blasts,” a source said.

Though the finger of suspicion so far has been at fundamentalist forces in Bangladesh, Zangpo’s arrest turned investigators’ attention to Bhutan for the first time ever since the probe into the blasts began.

A police source said the Druk National Congress claims to be a political outfit opposing the alleged discrimination of Bhutanese people of Nepali origin by the monarchy since the Nineties.

It is not recognised by the Bhutan government and allegedly has secret ties with the Maoists in Nepal and Bhutan.

“Since the NDFB and Ulfa had camps in forests in southern Bhutan, the two Assam outfits forged links with the anti-monarchy forces, including Maoists and their supporters based in Nepal. It was found that the Druk National Congress leader had extended help to some NDFB members in carrying out the serial explosions,” the source said.

Zangpo, 48, is also said to have stakes in a posh hotel in Kathmandu.

“At this moment we are sure that Zangpo had played a role in the blasts. We have established his involvement in his personal capacity but whether his party as an organisation has any involvement in the blasts is a matter of investigation,” the source said.

Both Zangpo and Boro, who is from Udalguri, were remanded in 10 days’ police custody after being produced in the court of the additional chief judicial magistrate, Kamrup, Joosmita Sarma, this afternoon.

Around the time the NDFB rebel and his Bhutanese aide were being produced in court, the police managed to gain entry into the Bodo outfit’s camp in Baksa and picked up two cadres, R. Serja and B. Pwthai, for interrogation on the blasts.

The police had been laying a virtual siege to the camp for the past three days before two senior police officers, Rajen Singh and Manabendra Gogoi, were allowed inside after “clearance” from the NDFB leadership.

The two were picked up on the basis of a list of suspects sent by the police headquarters here to the district. They were brought to the capital for questioning.

The NDFB continued to deny its role in the serial attacks and said if any of its members was found to be involved, it would be his/her own doing and they would be “individually” responsible.

The Centre, however, extended its ban on the outfit, amid recommendations from Dispur to revoke the ceasefire pact.

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