Manmohan, Patil, Sonia condemn UP serial blasts

November 23rd, 2007 - 9:52 pm ICT by admin  

New Delhi/Lucknow, Nov 23 (ANI): Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today condemned the serial blasts in Lucknow, Varanasi and Faizabad that claimed the lives of at least 13 persons, including two lawyers and injured over 50.

Condoling the loss of lives in the blasts and expressing concern for the injured, Singh announced an ex- gratia relief of one lakh rupees for the next of the kin of the dead and Rs.50,000 for the seriously injured from the Prime Ministers National Relief Fund.

Union Home Minister Shivraj Patil also strongly condemned the incident.

I strongly condemn the blasts which have taken place in three different cities of Uttar Pradesh today. I convey my sympathies to the bereaved families and pray for speedy recovery of the injured, Patil said in a statement.

He added: This is yet another attempt by anti-national elements to spread panic. I am confident that peace-loving people of the country will give a fitting reply to such elements.

Patil went on to say that the Government would continue to fight terrorism in a resolute manner, adding that the Centre was in touch with the State Government to see if any assistance was required by them.

The Home Ministry has issued advisory to all States and Union Territories to step up vigilance and surveillance in view of todays blasts. The ministry is sending forensic teams to the blast sites.

Congress party president Sonia Gandhi also expressed shock and grief over the serial blasts and the resultant deaths. She condemned that blasts, saying it was an act of cowardice intended to create panic.

Conveying her heartfelt condolence to the bereaved families, she urged the State Government to take firm action against the perpetrators.

Earlier today, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister and leader of the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), Mayawati announced a compensation of Rs.two lakh to the next of kin to each of those killed and Rs.50,000 for those injured in the incidents.

She said that there were at least six blasts: three at Varanasi, two at Faizabad and one at Lucknow.

She also said that senior police and intelligence officials, bomb squads and forensic experts were being sent to the three sites to look for clues as to who could be behind the serial blasts, and added that her government would be coming out with a report on the same.

Mayawati blamed the Central intelligence agencies for failing to provide any inputs about the blasts, and said that state agencies were not even asked to stay alert.

She described the three blasts as dastardly acts perpetrated by those wishing to spread communal disharmony in the state.

The serial blasts took place at a gap of five minutes from each other between 1 p.m. and 1.30 p.m. Five people lost their lives in Faizabad and four in Varanasi. The source of the blast in Lucknow was a cycle, which was later carried away by a police official.

Preliminary investigations reveal that the target of the terror attack was the legal system. The blasts were at Lucknow civil court, Varanasi Collectorate and Faizabad civil court.

The blasts came a week after the Uttar Pradesh police along with central security agencies busted a Jaish-e-Mohammed module, who wanted to target Rahul Gandhi. Lawyers had thrashed the three JeM militants when they were being produced before a court here.

Police believe the lawyers were targeted because they refused to appear in cases where suspected militants arrested.
The entire country has been put on high alert following the blasts, particularly Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad and Bangalore. The police meanwhile have cordoned the affected area and peoples entry has been banned. (ANI)

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