Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram on Tuesday voiced concern over threats posed by indigenous terror groups and pointed out that they were no longer fledgling outfits but experts in assembling and transporting bombs.
The threat from them was pretty high, he told PTI against the backdrop of the July 13 Mumbai blasts, which claimed the lives of 23 people.
Mr. Chidambaram was asked how serious the threat was from home-grown terrorists like the Indian Mujahideen (IM).
To a query whether the needle of suspicion pointed to the IM in the recent Mumbai blasts, he said: “No. I have said they [Mumbai Police] have not shared any details and I am not in a position to share any details.” The last reports he got was that the Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) had got some good leads. “Since they have not shared any more details, I am in no position to share any details.”
Asked if there were any suspects, he said, “There are good leads.”
To a question whether the July 13 blasts blotted his record, he said there were two blasts in Pune in 2010 and in Mumbai a fortnight ago.
“Both are setbacks. Both are terrorist incidents undoubtedly. And therefore, to the extent that the Government of Maharashtra could not prevent them and to the extent that the Government of India could not help the Government of Maharashtra to prevent them, is a negative on our record as opposed to the many positives that are on record.”
Asked whether the recent Mumbai blasts showed glaring holes such as phone lines not working, he said, “I think all this is exaggerated. Police officers reached the blast site within 15 minutes. Every single injured person was evacuated within the hour. Twenty-one ambulances were deployed and they were taken to 14 hospitals.”
Given the congestion in Mumbai,, he thought it was a good achievement in contrast to what happened in Norway.
On the Kashmir issue, he said the Centre would convene an all-party meeting once the interlocutors on Kashmir submitted their recommendations.