Violence level in NE going up: Chidambaram

NEW DELHI, July 7 – Union Home Minister P Chidambaram said that violence level continues to be on the rise in the North-East, though it has come down all over the country.

Briefing newsmen on Wednesday, Chidambaram said level of violence has come down all over the country in the first six months of the year, compared to the corresponding period last year. But in the North-East there is some increase in level of violence,” he said. “But we are hopeful that in the second half, situation would be better,” he said.

On the latest Supreme Court order on arming of Special Police Officers (SPOs), the Home Minister said he has not seen the judgement fully. “But SPOs are also deployed in non-Naxal areas like the north-eastern States,” he pointed out.

The Home Minister’s report for the month came, even as the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), in a new twist to the probe into the 2008 serial blast, has detected that the explosives used in the blasts were procured illegally from an Army firing range in Assam.

The deadly RDX was used in the series of blasts across Guwahati, Kokrajhar, Barpeta and Bongaigaon districts that left 76 dead and scores injured. The blast initially suspected to be the handiwork of jehadi outfits, was later traced to the door step of NDFB led by chairman Ranjan Daimary.

According to reports, the explosives were allegedly procured by NDFB operative one Gajen from the army’s firing range in Baksa district.

Interrogations of over 10 accused revealed that the explosives were arranged from the Army firing range in Baksa by the NDFB operative. The report said

The CBI is now probing how NDFB could lay their hands on the explosives from a highly-protected zone like the army firing range.

The CBI, meanwhile, is planning to request the Interpol to issue Red Corner Alert against four other key accused, who are currently absconding.

Investigation had revealed that the militants used PE-3 explosives, a highly potent plastic, RDX-based explosive.

Meanwhile, in his report card for the month of June, he said a meeting of the Joint Monitoring Group was held to oversee the implementation of Agreed Ground Rules of Suspension of Operation (SoO) and it was mutually agreed to extend the agreement with NDFB (P) and DHD for a further period of six months up to December 31, the report said.

About the progress of the work along India-Bangladesh border, the Home Minister reported that 15 Km of fencing and 20 Km of road works were completed in June under phase II of the project. At least 12 Km of fencing were replaced in June under phase III of the Project. Poles for floodlighting were erected on a length of 40 Km and cables were laid on 18 Km stretch during the month, he added.

Along India-China Border, he said construction of 23 roads totalling 700Km is in progress. Besides, 5.92 Km of surfacing works were completed in June.

So far, a total of 299.80 Km of formation works and 48.99 Km of surfacing works have also been completed, Chidambaram’s reported card said.