UPA ‘equally responsible’ for blasts: Rajasthan minister (Lead)

May 14th, 2008 - 2:32 pm ICT by admin  

By Sahil Makkar
Jaipur, May 14 (IANS) A day after serial blasts ripped through its capital killing at least 63 people, Rajasthan Wednesday blamed the central government and said it was not “mere coincidence” that that the attack came only two days after the 10th anniversary of the Pokhran nuclear test. “The central government is equally responsible for the terror blast in Rajasthan,” Home Minister Gulab Chand Kataria told IANS at his office here, a day after the synchronised bombings.

“The centre cannot absolve itself by just sending routine alerts to states.”

There had been terror attacks all over the country and the Rajasthan government was willing to take up the issue with the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government in New Delhi, Kataria said.

Linking the blasts to the May 11, 1998 nuclear test in Pokhran, the minister said: “It could not be a mere coincidence.”

He disclosed that 46 of the 63 killed had been cremated. About 90 people were injured.

Asked about the role of the Harkat-ul Jehadi Islami (HuJI) behind the nine blasts at seven places in a spate of 15 minutes, Kataria said: “It is a well planned terror strike. Militants have used RDX and high explosives like ammonium nitrate and shrapnel in a particular manner to cause maximum damage.”

According to Kataria, the live bomb defused by the bomb disposal squad had double detonators and RDX, suggesting that the terrorists were working towards “maximum damage”.

“Terrorists have used a similar modus operandi in almost all strikes in the last one year. In the Uttar Pradesh court blasts (that killed 13 people), terrorists planted bombs on newly purchased bicycles. The same modus operandi was seen in the Malegoan and Mecca Masjid blasts,” he said, referring to the September 2006 terror strike in the Maharashtra town of Malegaon and the May 2007 attack on the historic mosque in Hyderabad.

“Terrorists have also used this way to carry out blasts in the city. We cannot say which terror organisation is behind the attacks but we have some possible clues and arrests would be made soon. It is a nationwide problem and we need to discuss it seriously.”

The minister said teams of detectives were working to ascertain the places from where the bicycles were purchased. But no arrests had been made so far.

Asked about the state government’s readiness for such disasters, Kataria said: “No such tragedy has ever occurred in the state. We are now taking all corrective measures.”

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