Manmohan Singh, Sonia Gandhi to visit Assam

November 1st, 2008 - 10:25 am ICT by IANS  

Manmohan SinghGuwahati, Nov 1 (IANS) Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and United Progressive Alliance (UPA) chairperson Sonia Gandhi were expected to arrive in Assam’s main city of Guwahati Saturday to review the situation following serial blasts that left at least 77 people dead and over 300 injured, an official said. An Assam government spokesman said the prime minister and the UPA chairperson would arrive in the city by afternoon and meet the people injured in Thursday’s blasts.

A 12-hour general strike enforced Saturday by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), the Viswa Hindu Parishad (VHP) and the Bajrang Dal, brought life to a standstill.

Police said shops and businesses were closed, while private and public vehicles remained off the roads. The shutdown was called to protest the failure of the government to protect people from terror attacks.

Assam was rocked by a wave of bombings - 12 blasts in quick succession - six in Guwahati, and six in the three western districts of Barpeta, Kokrajhar and Bongaigaon Thursday afternoon.

Union Home Minister Shivraj Patil arrived in Assam Friday and visited blast sites in Kokrajhar and Guwahati, besides holding a security meeting with the chief minister, and senior police and administrative officials.

“We shall nab the culprits involved in the blasts. Investigations are on and we should be able to come out with something concrete,” Patil said.

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