A top Government team headed by the Federal Home Secretary and attended by Army and Central forces pinned the blame for the twin blasts in Guwahati killed 14 people and injuring 48 others on United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA).
This is the first major incident since the group nominated a kangaroo group in October 2005 calling it the Peoples’ Consultative Group (PCG) to negotiate in its stead. The Indian Government saw this charade and insisted on direct conversations which the ULFA declined claiming that its office bearers were incarcerated and therefore the group is incapable of discussing its Constitution.
A follow-up meeting in Guwahati, the Strategy Group of the Unified Command decided to launch a special counter-insurgency operation in upper Assam and North Cachar hills to stop growing militant activities primarily focused on extortion and kidnapping. Security officials say that ULFA’s ease of execution points to chinks in the “core policing” machinery and the lack of multi-agency coordination in the State. Home Secretary V.K. Duggal says that the situation is under control promised “appropriate action” while being ready “100% for peaceful negotiation.”
There is a strong feeling in the security analyst community that the Government soft-approach is encouraging the ULFA to resume their terrorist activities. There are several reports pointing to the re-occupation of forests in Bhutan by the ULFA since they were ousted 2 years ago in a joint operation. There is also political patronage of the ULFA.