NATIONAL

Punish the mischief-makers: Sonia

The Congress president, Sonia Gandhi, visiting victims of Monday's blasts at the JJ Hospital, Mumbai, on Tuesday. — Photo: Paul Noronha

The Congress president, Sonia Gandhi, visiting victims of Monday's blasts at the JJ Hospital, Mumbai, on Tuesday. — Photo: Paul Noronha  

MUMBAI AUG. 26. The Congress president, Sonia Gandhi, today asked the Maharashtra Chief Minister, Sushil Kumar Shinde, to ensure that blasts such as the recent ones in Mumbai "do not recur" with "terrorists from outside" striking with substantial impact.

She arrived here soon after the Deputy Prime Minister, L. K. Advani, landed and went to the places where the two blasts took place on Monday and met the people.

Ms. Gandhi said firmly: "Trace them, catch and punish" the mischief-makers. But she had a salve for Mr. Shinde as well. Fighting the `menace' called terrorism, she said, was the joint task of the State and the Centre and "we have to work on this together," meaning that he was not alone and that the Opposition would back such an endeavour.

The Maharashtra Government had to "be extremely alert" and "do all it can so that such tragedies like the one that happened yesterday do not occur". "I have asked the Chief Minister that the Government should see to it that they do not occur again."

She said while talking to correspondents at the Gateway of India that Mr. Shinde had assured her that "he would go all out and deal with the culprits responsible for killing the innocent".

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