Patil denounces Delhi blast; assures scaled-up security

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New Delhi, Sep 27 (UNI) Home Minister Shivraj Patil today condemned the blast in the city and assured that expeditious steps would be taken to beef up security in the national capital.

Mr Patil also apealed to the people of the capital to remain calm.

Mr Patil said the government has taken a series of measures to beef up security in Delhi in view of the second blast having taken place within a fortnight. ''Whatever more is required to be done, would be done expeditiously,'' he assured.

Mr Patil visited the blast site and spoke to the residents of the area and assured them all possible assistance.

Mr Patil later also visited the AIIMS Trauma Centre and spoke to the doctors and the injured admitted there and asked the medics to provide the best possible assistance to the wounded.

He extended his condolences to the family of the 10-year old boy killed in the explosion.

''I convey my condolences to the family of the child, killed in today's blast in Delhi and pray for a speedy recovery of the injured. Hospital authorities have been asked to provide all facilities for their treatment,'' he said.

Earlier, External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee summoned Mr Patil to brief him on the incident in which one person died and many others injured in Mehrauli.

Mr Patil, who has been under attack from not only opposition BJP but even UPA allies and cabinet colleagues, met Mr Mukherjee and provided detailed information about the blast. Mr Mukherjee, being the senior most cabinet minister, is officiating the government functions in absence of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who is on a visit to the United States and France.

Before this, Mr Patil held a meeting of senior officials of the Home Ministry to discuss the situation arising out the blast.

On September 13, serial blasts at five different places in the Capital had killed 24 people and injured about 100 others.

UNI AJ SR/RL BD2120

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