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Ulfa threat looms large on Asian GP

2 Ulfa militants confess they were assigned to sabotage the Asian Grand Prix, reports Rahul Karmakar.

india Updated: Jun 20, 2007 03:06 IST
Rahul Karmakar
Rahul Karmakar
Hindustan Times

The second leg of the Asian Grand Prix appears to have landed from the frying pan to the fire.

Troops of the army’s Red Horns division on Tuesday caught two hardcore Ulfa militants in central Assam’s Nagaon district. The duo, identified as ‘privates’ Joni Pathak and Krishna Borah, were carrying 1.5 kg explosives, two detonators and a battery with timer.

“They confessed they were assigned to sabotage the Asian Grand Prix and create terror,” said a spokesman of the army’s 4th Corps, refusing to be quoted. “Both are members of the Ulfa’s crack 27th battalion.”

The second leg of the one-day Asian Grand Prix athletics show is scheduled here on June 23. The first leg was completed in Bangkok on Tuesday while Pune in Maharashtra would be hosting the third leg on June 27.

Ironically, the second leg was supposed to be held in Beirut. “We were asked to host the second leg of the Asian Grand Prix after Beirut was considered too unstable to organise the event,” said Pradeep Buragohain, secretary-general of the organizing committee and president of Assam Athletics Association (AAA).

Buragohain further said, “There will be some 200 athletes from 11 countries including China, Japan, Korea and Pakistan. But the top athletes would be staying away.” He added the AAA has asked the government to ensure total security during the event.

Chief minister Tarun Gogoi has asked officials to make security as watertight as was during the 33rd National Games held last February. The Ulfa had threatened to disrupt the National Games too, though it withdrew the ban later on.

An Inspector General of Police has been appointed as nodal officer to oversee the security arrangements and coordinate with paramilitary forces and the army.

ht epaper

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