NATIONAL

Intelligence reports had warned of attacks: Duggal

Meetings held at May-end to review security "They were not locals. Nobody has claimed responsibility for the attack."

Special Correspondent

NEW DELHI: The Government had intelligence information that militant groups could target religious places, vital installations and places of national importance. Tuesday's "unqualified success" of the Ayodhya operation, in which six terrorists were killed, indicated the high level of alertness of the security forces, Union Home Secretary V.K. Duggal told a press briefing here.

He had held two meetings with the chiefs of the Central paramilitary forces and the State police in the last week of May on receipt of the information.

"We held detailed discussions and meetings after receiving inputs from intelligence agencies on the possibility of militant strikes at a religious place or vital installation. India is a vast country and the intelligence at the national level has to be matched with the information from the States and at the local level."

Mr. Duggal refused to divulge either the names of the militant groups or the identity of the terrorists who were killed at Ayodhya.

"They were not locals. Nobody has claimed responsibility for the attack."

Advisories were sent to all State Governments and police chiefs, asking them to ensure that vested interests and mischievous elements did not exploit the situation to spread communal disharmony.

Mr. Duggal and Central Reserve Police Force Director-General, J.K. Sinha, asserted that there was no damage to the makeshift temple as the CRPF personnel shot down all the terrorists at the outer periphery itself.

"All terrorists have been accounted for, and no person except the driver of the car that brought the terrorists has been arrested. The driver is being questioned," Mr. Duggal said.

Praise for CRPF

Mr. Sinha lauded the "quick response" of the CRPF men, the Uttar Pradesh police and the Provincial Armed Constabulary deployed at the outer security cordon in the temple complex.

The terrorists attempted to breach the outer ring security by blasting an explosives-laden jeep and firing indiscriminately from their AK-47 assault rifles.

"Our men retaliated with controlled firing and all the six were killed at Sita-ki-Rasoi," said Mr. Sinha, who rushed to Ayodhya to review the security measures. Three CRPF personnel, including a sub-inspector, were injured in the encounter.

Apart from manning the inner cordon, CRPF personnel had security pickets in the complex.

A women platoon and a quick reaction team were deployed in the complex at all times, he said.

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