Jaipur blasts draw widespread condemnation

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New Delhi, May 13 (UNI) President Pratibha Patil, Vice-President Hamid Ansari and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh tonight denounced the Jaipur serial bomb blasts, terming them as reprehensible, and expressed grief at the loss of lives in the explosions.

While deploring the blasts, Ms Patil requested people to maintain peace and harmony.

Mr Ansari strongly condemned the serial blasts in which about 60 people have been killed and 150 injured, terming them ''dastardly and despicable acts''. Mr Ansari expressed his ''deepest sympathy'' for the families of those killed and injured in the explosions.

Meanwhile, Dr Singh also denounced the blasts and assured full support to the Rajasthan government and assistance to the affected families. Dr Singh also spoke to Chief Minister Vasundhra Raje over the telephone and offered all possible assistance to the affected families and her government in probing the explosions.

Union Home Minister Shivraj Patil condemned the serial blasts and assured all help to the Rajasthan government in probing the dastardly explosions. Mr Patil appealed to the people to maintain calm and foil the designs of anti-national forces. He offered his condolence to the bereaved families and assured all possible help to the state government in the investigation of the blasts.

Congress President and UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi denounced the blasts and condoled the tragic loss of lives, calling it a crime against humanity. ''It is a crime against humanity,'' she said. She appealed for peace and harmony.

Condemning the serial blasts, the BJP said this spurt in terror attacks was a direct fallout of ''a weak Prime Minister and a cowardly Home Minister''.

''Terrorists have been emboldened because of a weak Prime Minister and a cowardly Home Minister,'' party vice-president Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said. Holding the 'weak-kneed policies of the UPA government' responsible for the rise in terror activities, he said the Congress-led government must review its anti-terrorism polices before the situation spun out of control.

The United States also condemned the blasts, saying there could be no justification for such a murderous assault on innocent people.

US Ambassador to India David Mulford, while describing the bombings as ''vicious'', expressed deepest sympathies with the victims' families.

''The US condemns the vicious acts of terrorism in Jaipur this evening. We extend our deepest sympathies to those injured and to the victims families. There can be no possible justification for murderous attacks on innocent people,'' the US envoy said in a statement.

UNI TEAM AM AS2356

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