Central government extends help to violence-hit Gujarat

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New Delhi, July 27 : Union Home Minister Shivraj Patil said on Sunday that the Central government will extend all support to Gujarat Government to ensure that the terror-hit state returns to normalcy.

Speaking after a high-level meeting called to review the security situation across the nation in the wake of the successive serial blasts that rocked Ahmedabad, Patil said that a close watch is being kept on the latest developments in the state.

"We all are sorry about what has happened over there and our hearts go (out) to the members of the families which have suffered. We have no doubt in our mind that the state government will help them fully, I can tell you that the Government of India also will help them fully," said Patil.

After convening the meeting to take stock of security situation, Patil met Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh to apprise him about the latest situation.

The security review meeting of relevant government institutions and officials took place to establish the cause behind the Ahmedabad and Bangalore blasts, and to mull what steps were needed to counter this menace.

The meeting was second of its kind since last week when the Home Ministry had gone into the security scenario in the country and issued advisories to various states asking them to be on high alert.

Cabinet Secretary K. M. Chandrasekar, Union Home Secretary Madhukar Gupta, Director of Intelligence Bureau (IB) P.C. Haldar and Delhi Police Chief Y.S. Dadwal attended the meeting. Besides, senior officers of the Home Ministry and security agencies also attended the meeting.

On the other hand, police authorities in New Delhi advised locals to stay alert and not to panic.

"All market places, places of gathering, railway stations, metro, malls, cinema halls, wherever possible, we have beefed up the security. We have called for 30 more companies. Special branch officials and traffic police has also been put on high alert. Senior officials are patrolling in all major market places. We advise people to be alert but not to panic," said Ranjan Bhagat, an official of the Delhi Police.

At least 16 small bombs exploded in Ahmedabad on Saturday killing at least 29 people and wounding 88, a day after another set of blasts in the country's IT hub Bangalore.

India has suffered a wave of bombings in recent years, with targets ranging from mosques and Hindu temples to trains.

It is unusual for any group to claim responsibility, but Government says it suspects militant groups from Pakistan and Bangladesh are behind many of the attacks.

ANI

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