Rajasthan chief minister puts toll at 63 dead, 216 injured

May 14th, 2008 - 4:10 pm ICT by admin  

By Anil Sharma
Jaipur, May 14 (IANS)Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje Wednesday put the death toll in Jaipur’s first and horrific terror attack at 63 and said the bombers wanted to ignite Hindu-Muslim tensions. Her Parliamentary Affairs Minister R.S. Rathore said a total of 216 people were injured in the bomb blasts of Tuesday. He said the dead included seven women and eight children. Seventeen bodies had not been identified.

Addressing her first press conference after the Tuesday mayhem, Raje said nine new cycles were used to carry out the coordinated blasts — whose number she put at eight over six sites in a radius of less than a kilometre.

“The bombers targeted crowded places. They wanted to inflict maximum damage,” she said. “It seems they wanted to raise Hindu-Muslim tensions.

“But I am confident that Jaipur will be back on its feet, there will be no problem. The situation is now completely under control.”

Police officials said all the dead and injured were Indians although Jaipur is one of the biggest draws for foreign tourists.

The chief minister said the terrorists appeared to have used high velocity RDX explosives and ammonium nitrate to make bombs that were kept in bags and attached to nine newly bought bicycles,

“We have got slender leads, not definite leads. We have detained two or three people for questioning.”

Raje said that with a 1,000-km long border with Pakistan, Rajasthan needed a tough law to tackle terrorism, akin to the now defunct Prevention of Terrorism Act (POTA).

“We have sent a similar bill to the central government but it has been lying there for two years,” she said.

Raje also said that there had been no focussed intelligence input from the central government about the Rajasthan blasts.

The government has deployed the Rapid Action Force (RAF) and the Rajasthan Armed Constabulary (RAC) in the now curfew-bound areas where the bombings took place.

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