New Delhi, May 14 : Canadian Foreign Minister Maxime Bernier has condemned the serial bomb blasts that claimed the lives of nearly 70 people and injured another 200.
"These terrorist bombings, which occurred in crowded market areas and near a temple, are a deplorable act of violence against innocent civilians. On behalf of all Canadians, I extend my condolences to the families and friends of those who lost their lives, and I wish a speedy recovery to the injured. We are working with the Indian authorities to determine whether any Canadians have been directly affected by these events," Bernier said.
"We stand firmly united with the Government of India, a proud and strong democracy, in condemning these acts of terror. Canada and India have a shared commitment to freedom, democracy, human rights and the rule of law. Among our mutual priorities is close cooperation to fight terrorism," he added.
Bernier's comment came even as curfew was imposed in 15 to 16 police station areas of Jaipur hours after eight serial blasts rocked Jaipur. The curfew has been imposed between 9:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. Schools and offices have been closed for the day.
A shutdown has been called across Rajasthan in protest against the blasts which took place at Manas Chowk, Johari Bazar, Tripolia Bazar, Badi Choupal, Choti Choupal, Kotwali areas of Jaipur's Walled City.
The banned Harkat-ul-Jehadi Islami (HuJI), which operates from Bangladesh, is believed to be behind the blasts, which took place at intervals spread over 15 minutes.
The bombs were made of iron ball bearings, and alarm clock circuits and were planted in new bicycles. A team of the National Security Guards (NSG) has reached Jaipur for further investigations.
A state of high alert has been declared in Delhi, Mumbai, Karnataka, Bihar, Hyderabad and Maharashtra, all areas that have experienced bomb explosions in the recent past.
The State Government has announced an ex-gratia of Rs five lakh for the family of those killed in the explosions, Rs one lakh for the seriously injured and Rs 25,000 for those injured.
Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje has declared a state mourning today in honour of the victims.
Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh on Tuesday night spoke to Raje and offered all Central support to the State Government in dealing with the situation. Dr. Singh also spoke to Home Minister Shivraj Patil, who is on a two-day visit to the north east. Condemning the dastardly attack, Dr. Singh urged the people of Jaipur to remain calm "at this difficult moment".
President Pratibha Patil expressed grief over the loss of lives and condemned the attack. The last terror strike in Rajasthan occurred on October 11, 2007 at the Dargah of Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti in Ajmer, leaving two persons dead and 17 injured.