The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Delhi rushes to seal border
File picture of a blast site

New Delhi, Nov. 4: Shaken by the post-blast investigations in Assam, the Centre is moving to secure India’s borders in the eastern region, including the Northeast.

Tomorrow, Union home secretary Madhukar Gupta will brief directors-general of police and chief secretaries of the northeastern states and ask them to keep an eye on Bangladeshi infiltrators.

Cabinet secretary K.M. Chandrasekhar held a meeting with home ministry officials yesterday to set deadlines for fencing the border. Fencing in the region was stalled a year ago, despite warnings from various agencies.

As the finger of suspicion points more and more towards Bangladesh-based organisations Huji and Jamaat-e-Islami which have made inroads into the Northeast, Delhi has decided to fence the 4,096km border with the neighbouring country on a priority basis.

Of the 4,096km border along West Bengal and the Northeast, sanction for fencing has been given for 3,400km while work is completed only on 2,300km. Fencing on 470km is incomplete.

Sources said Meghalaya, which shares a 443-km-long border with Bangladesh and has been unwilling to seal all of it, would be told tomorrow to assist in fencing work.

Only 280km of fencing in the state is complete, while the unfenced Garo hills continue to grant open access to many insurgent groups, including the NSCN and Ulfa.

Officials conceded that the take-off point for the array of meetings and decisions has been the magnitude and nature of the blasts.

“They are the biggest blasts in recent memory,” National Security Guard (NSG) director-general J.K. Dutt told The Telegraph.

Investigators at the national bomb data centre of the elite NSG have established that 6kg of RDX, mixed with TNT, was used in each of the three blasts in Guwahati, enough to blow up six small trucks. About 2kg of RDX was used in Kokrajhar, Barpeta Road and Bongaigaon.

This makes the Assam blasts among the most powerful explosions perpetrated by terrorists in the country.

An expert of the Forensic Science Laboratory in Guwahati had earlier said 25-30kg of RDX had been used in each of the blasts in the city, adding that this was the largest quantity of the powerful explosive used to carry out explosions in the history of Assam.

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