PM lauds people of Gujarat, vows to defeat terrorists (Third lead)

July 28th, 2008 - 8:21 pm ICT by IANS  

A file-photo of Manmohan Singh

Ahmedabad, July 28 (IANS) Visiting survivors of the serial bombings here, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh Monday vowed to defeat forces that are aiming to destroy India’s social fabric, and praised the people of Gujarat for their resilience as he announced more relief. Along with Congress president Sonia Gandhi and Home Minister Shivraj Patil, Manmohan Singh visited two hospitals and met some of those 200 people who were injured but survived the serial bombings that left at least 50 killed Saturday evening.

“I have come to express our solidarity with the people of Gujarat in their hour of crisis. I commend the people of Gujarat for the resilience they have shown,” he said.

“These terrorist acts are aimed at destroying our social fabric, undermining communal harmony and demoralizing our people. As the people of Gujarat have shown so admirably, these efforts will not succeed. We will rise to the challenge and I am confident we will be able to defeat these forces,” he said.

Manmohan Singh said all political parties, the central and state governments, the central and state police and intelligence authorities and civil society groups should cooperate and work together to this end.

“In this hour of tragedy, my heart goes out to those who have lost their near and dear ones. I offer my sympathies to those injured. We will do our best to take care of them. And my deepest prayers for the departed souls.”

The prime minister, Congress chief Sonia Gandhi and Shivraj Patil visited the Civil Hospital, the state’s largest hospital where a majority of the injured were being treated, and met some of the injured. Later, they also visited the L.G. Hospital and the V.S. Hospital and interacted with some of the injured.

Within a space of just over an hour, the city was ripped apart Saturday evening by 21 coordinated bombings, which claimed at least 50 lives and injured about 200 people, a day after low-intensity blasts rocked Bangalore, the country’s IT capital.

The Trauma Centre in the Civil Hospital was also hit by a blast as terrorists targeted those helping people injured in previous blasts.

After spending a few minutes at the Trauma Centre, the leaders went to the B-4 ward of the hospital and met survivors recuperating there.

Before leaving for New Delhi, the prime minister raised the central government’s ex gratia relief to the blast victims. While the kin of those killed will get Rs.350,000 instead of the Rs.100,000 announced Saturday night, those injured will get Rs.50,000.

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