Jaitley questions Nitish's callous stand despite timely intelligence inputs

New Delhi/Patna, Oct 28 : Expressing serious concern over yesterday's serial blasts in Patna, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Arun Jaitley on Monday questioned the Nitish Kumar-led Bihar Government for not taking a tough stand despite having intelligence alerts.

Jaitley said the Bihar Government's attitude was casual and callous.

"When a chief minister of a state goes to any different state, then the ASL is conducted, which the host state has to certify. The Bihar Police did not certify it," he said.

Jaitley said yesterday's incident at Patna is a matter of concern for all citizens of the country.

"The BJP condemns this conspiracy. We express our sympathy for the families of the deceased," he said

Jaitley said we are still living in a vulnerable security environment," he added.

"In this environment are we going to be soft on security because some state governments want to be seen as soft on terror for collateral reasons?" he asked.

"Had we not assured people that these were fire crackers, there could be unprecedented consequences due to a stampede there," he added.

Jaitley, who is the Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha, also demanded a through probe into the untoward incident.

At least seven suspects have been detained in connection with Sunday's serial blasts in Patna in which six people were killed and 83 injured.

While four were nabbed in Patna, three persons were detained in Ranchi last night.

Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, who ended his party's alliance with the BJP in August over the latter's decision to give Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi the starring role in its campaign for the national elections, yesterday said there should be no politics over the blasts.

Kumar, who announced Rs. five lakhs as financial assistance for the families of the deceased in the Patna serial blasts, confirmed that there was no intelligence input about the explosions.

Kumar also said the Bihar Police is confident of gaining pivotal information from the suspect regarding the investigation, and was confident of reaching solid conclusions about the perpetrators soon.

Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh has condemned the blasts in Patna, and called for urgent steps to identify and take action against those responsible. He appealed to the people to maintain peace and calm.

Dr. Singh also spoke to the Bihar Chief Minister to enquire about the situation and call for immediate and firm action. He also assured the Chief Minister of all central assistance in the investigations.

The low intensity blasts rocked Patna between 9.30 a.m. and 12.45 p.m. yesterday shortly before Modi's address to a 'Hunkar rally' in Gandhi Maidan.

Six of the bombs went off inside and near Gandhi Maidan, the rally venue. The remaining two blasts took place inside a public convenience complex at Patna Junction.

--ANI (Posted on 29-10-2013)

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