M A I N   N E W S

PC, Maya in blame game over Varanasi blast
CM denies Centre’s claim that UP had been alerted
Shahira Naim
Tribune News Service

Lucknow, December 8
Union Home Minister P Chidambaram today blamed the Uttar Pradesh government of “negligence leading to the Varanasi blast”, saying the Centre had alerted the state about a possible terrorist strike.

Chief Minister Mayawati, however, denied having received any “actionable inputs” and squarely blamed the Centre for “not effectively curbing terrorism by being negligent towards plugging the international borders”.

With this war of words, the terrorist blast killing a child and leaving 39 injured on the ghats of Varanasi has acquired a political hue, becoming yet another occasion for the Union and state governments to indulge in a blame game.

Speaking during his visit to Varanasi to take stock of the situation, Chidambaram said specific intelligence input had been provided to the state government on February 25 that Dashmesh Ghat was on the terror list.

This, said the Home Minister, had been followed up with an advisory on December 6 alerting all the states that terror attacks could be expected in view of 6/12 -- the anniversary of Babri Masjid demolition. In the context of Varanasi, he claimed that the Intelligence Bureau had given input about the terrorist design to the state government.

Reacting to the Home Minister’s statement, state cabinet secretary called a press conference in Lucknow to share Chief Minister Mayawati’s letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh wherein she had described terrorism as a national problem and said it was not right to blame the state governments for terrorist attacks.

In her letter, she demanded at least 125 companies of central forces to maintain law and order in the state. She said that in matters of internal security and development, the Union government should rise above party politics. She pointed out that the most populous state having many historical and religious sites had suffered 18 terrorist attacks since 2000, including three in Varanasi alone.

In her letter to the Prime Minister, she pointed out that the reported Indian Mujahideen email to certain media houses had claimed that the blast was in retaliation to the “biased” Ayodhya verdict. Despite little assistance from the Union government, her government had maintained law and order in the wake of the judgment on September 30, 2010.

No clues yet 

Forensic experts visiting the blast site in Varanasi on Wednesday failed to pick up any vital clues in terms of pieces of circuits, shrapnel, battery or parts of any remote devise used in the blast, admitted ADG (Law and Order) Brij Lal in Lucknow. 





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