The Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) will continue to investigate the July 13 serial bomb blasts here, according to Home Minister R.R. Patil.

The Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) will continue to investigate the July 13 serial bomb blasts here, according to Home Minister R.R. Patil.

Talking to journalists, Mr. Patil set at rest speculation that the case would be handed over to the National Investigation Agency (NIA). He said there had been no arrests till now in the case.

Referring to Monday's discussion with Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram, Mr. Patil said, the issue of the NIA taking over the blasts probe was not even discussed. However, official sources said that the NIA issue was very much on the agenda and the Home Minister also wanted to satisfy himself that the ATS was capable of conducting the probe. There have been reports of a move to hand over the probe to NIA which ATS has denied in the past.

The Chief Minister and other officials too were of the opinion that the State was perfectly competent to conduct the investigation and there was no need to transfer it to the NIA, it is learnt. Apart from that, the meeting also looked at security issues and discussed modernisation of the police force, among other things, Mr. Patil said.

The State government officials also made a presentation to Mr. Chidambaram on the issue of banning onion exports, which has created a law and order situation in Nashik. Maharashtra produces 60% of the country's onions and farmers have been demanding the lifting of the ban.

Speaking to journalists, Mr. Patil clarified that the State government sent a proposal to the Centre for banning Sanathan Sanstha, a non-profit organisation, but it was not politically motivated. The Police Department had suggested the move, he said.

Team for London

From September 19 to 21, a team of officials will tour London to study the use of closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras by the police there. Official sources said 10 bids were received for the CCTV installation in Mumbai and the request for proposals would be issued by this month-end.