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Blasts: Shine addresses Parliament; BJP slams

Posted on Feb 22, 03:43PM | IBNS

New Delhi, Feb 22 : Union Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde on Friday made a statement in the Lok Sabha after visiting Hyderabad city where twin blasts killed 16 people on Thursday and said the government is committed to 'combat' such 'cowardly' attacks.

"16 people died, 117 were injured in Hyderabad blasts. The government is committed to combat such cowardly attacks," Shine said.

He said the government is determined to punish the perpetrators.

"Today, I went to Hyderabad....I visited the scene of occurrence and there after met the injured...I reviewed the situation with the Governor, the Chief Minister and other senior officials," he said.

Shine said: "The NIA (National Investigation Agency) will probe Hyderabad blasts in conjunction with the local police."

He said the situation in Hyderabad is 'under control' and two cases have been registered in connection to the blasts.

India's main opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), however, criticised the Home Minister and said his statement was a 'very routine' one.

Slamming the Home Minister, Leader of Opposition in the Lok Sabha, Sushma Swaraj said: "After Centre's alert on possible terror strikes, did you try to help the state government to prevent the attacks?"

Amid uproar over Shinde's statement, the Lok Sabha was adjourned till 3:30 pm.

Shinde, who reached Hyderabad in the morning, earlier in the day said though there were intelligence reports, they were not specific and so the police is not to be blamed at the moment.

"A general alert was given for the last about two-three days to the whole country. It was not a specific area. I don't think the police has failed. It is too early to talk on it," Shinde said.

Meanwhile, the death toll in the two blasts that rocked crowded areas of Andhra Pradesh capital Hyderabad on Thursday evening rose to 16, officials said on Friday.

At least 117 people were injured in the two blasts that ripped through the city as the finger of suspicion pointed towards the Indian Mujahideen (IM).