No clue in UP serial blasts in courts: Govt

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Lucknow, Dec 4: The Uttar Pradesh Government admitted before the state Assembly today that it was yet to get any clue in the November 23 serial blasts that rocked court premises in Faizabad, Varanasi and Lucknow, killing 13 people and wounding 70.

The opposition lashed out at the government for showing laxity in preventing terrorist attacks in the state despite several warnings from the Intelligence agencies and criticised Chief Minister Mayawati for blaming the Centre on the issue.

They also demanded an all party meeting on the issue and increase in ex-gratia payments to the families of the deceased to Rs 10 lakh from the existing Rs 5 lakh.

The matter was raised through an adjournment motion in the State Assembly during zero hour with the opposition members taking strong exception to the absence of the chief minister during the debate. Coincidentally, Leader of the Opposition Mulayam Singh Yadav was also absent in the House.

State Parliamentay Affairs Minister Lalji Verma, replying to the motion, said the government was very sincere on the issue and had even set up Anti-Terrorist Squad (ATS) at all police zones and two separate wings of the Special Task Force (STF) at Varanasi and Meerut.

''We also brought a bill in the House for holding trails of the terrorists through video-conferencing'', he said.

The Minister admitted that even after sketches of the terrorists behind the November blasts were released, no breakthrough had been so far been achieved in the case.

The government also rejected the opposition's plea for an all party meeting and increasing the death compensation to Rs 10 lakh.

'' There is no need for an all party meeting as everything has been discussed in today's debate while there is also no consideration to hike the compensation'', he added.

Initiating the debate, BJP's Shyam Deo Rai Choudhury said it was a serious incident and proved that terrorist groups had spread their tentacles in the entire state.

BJP deputy leader Hukum Singh said when the Centre had informed the state about possible attacks by terrorists, why had the state government not acted accordingly.

Congress leader Pramod Tiwari said the state government was only trying to make the matter non-serious while SP member Naresh Agawal said an all party meeting should have been convened for a consensus on the issue.

BJP member Lalji Tandon said when the state government had already identified 34 districts as terrorist-infested, why did it not react.

Mafia don-turned politician Mukhtar Ansari suggested a strict law be made to punish the terrorists and they be hanged in public.


UNI

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