New Delhi: Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh arrived in Assam for a day-long visit to the state on Friday despite a 12-hour bandh called by ULFA's anti-talk faction led by Paresh Baruah.
Shortly after his arrival at the Lokapriya Gopinath Bordoloi International Airport at around 1050 hrs, the Prime Minister said, “I am delighted to be here again in my adopted home state, particularly happy to be here today a week after Bihu."
The Prime Minister, who represents Assam in the Rajya Sabha, was then flew in a helicopter and landed at the Nehru Stadium.
The Prime Minister is expected to visit B Barooah Cancer Institute where he is scheduled to inaugurate two new facilities for cancer patients.
Singh would later leave for Dispur Secretariat Ground where he would address the gathering on the occasion of the Assam Legislative Assembly Platinum Jubilee Celebrations.
The Prime Minister will leave for Raj Bhavan for lunch and a meeting with the state cabinet.
Dr Singh would return to the Nehru Stadium from where he would leave for the airport by a chopper and subsequently depart for New Delhi by 1700 hrs.
In view of the warning from the ULFA’s anti-talk faction to disrupt Prime Minister’s visit, the district administration has made elaborate security arrangements at all the venues of the Prime Minister's programmes.
Police and para-military personnel have been posted on all major thoroughfares, vital installations and patrolling has been intensified throughout the state.
Consequently, the traffic is either diverted or controlled along the roads through which the convoy will pass. Public have been also directed to avoid parking vehicles on certain roads and localities.
The Northeast Frontier Railway has cancelled 11 trains and rescheduled four others following security threat in Assam till April 20.
A few hours ahead of Singh's scheduled visit, suspected cadres of anti-talk faction of the United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA) triggered a blast near railway track in Upper Assam's Sivsagar district last night.
A powerful Improvised Explosive Device (IED), weighing more than three kgs, was also recovered from railway tracks in lower Assam's Chirang district.
A security alert has been sounded throughout the state with police and security forces kept on high alert to thwart any subversive attempt by the ULFA and all forces engaged in counter-insurgency operations are meeting regularly to coordinate operations and share intelligence.
According to intelligence sources, there are reports that the ULFA cadre have been directed to target oil installations, pipelines, railway tracks, security personnel, police stations and outposts along with other vital installations.
First Published: Friday, April 20, 2012, 09:06