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Blasts aimed at creating communal discord: PM

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Manmohan Singh
Manmohan Singh

Special Correspondent

NEW DELHI: While declining to name any country for the Jaipur blasts, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Wednesday denied there was any lack of firmness on the part of the government in dealing with the menace.

Dr. Singh also pointed out that although some major incidents of terrorist violence had taken place, security forces had also been able to foil several of their attempts. He felt such attacks were aimed at disrupting communal harmony.

“The terrorists have the advantage of attacking by stealth but there is no lack of firmness in dealing with this menace. All possible precautions are being taken. It would be premature on my part to comment anything as it will interfere with the investigations,” the Prime Minister told newspersons on the sidelines of the defence investiture ceremony at the Rashtrapati Bhavan here.

Asked whether the timing of the blasts and two incidents of firing on the border, including one on Wednesday, was intriguing as they took place before Foreign Minister Pranab Mukherjee’s visit to Islamabad, Dr. Singh said there were elements who did not want normalisation of relations between India and Pakistan. “There is an imperious design to create communal disharmony,” he said.

The Prime Minister also maintained that there was adequate coordination between the security forces, and the Jaipur blasts did not happen because of lack of coordination. “All intelligence is shared and there is no lack of communications between the various security agencies but terrorists have the advantage of surprise.”

“There are many cases where security agencies have foiled attempts. Many cases were anticipated. I don’t want to talk about what they were able to prevent,” he observed.

Dr. Singh did not subscribe to the opinion that the repeal of the Prevention of Terrorism Act (POTA) was responsible for these incidents. “There is no dearth of laws. There is no correlation between the attacks and repeal of POTA,” he observed, pointing out that when POTA was in force major terrorist attacks had taken place. “They attacked Parliament, the Akshardham Temple in Gujarat besides several other places. There is no co-relation,” he said.

Ex gratia of Rs.1 lakh

The Prime Minister sanctioned an ex gratia of Rs. 1 lakh each to the next of kin of those killed in the blasts in Jaipur.

It will be given from the Prime Minister’s National Relief Fund. An ex gratia of Rs. 50,000 has also been sanctioned to those who were seriously injured, the Prime Minister’s Office said in a release here.

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