Pranab summons Patil to brief about Mehrauli blast

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New Delhi, Sep 27 (UNI) Concerned over a blast rocking the Capital within two weeks of serial blasts, External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee today summoned Home Minister Shivraj Patil to brief him about 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 in a Market in South Delhi's Mehrauli. 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 abroad to the United States and France.

Earlier, Mr Patil held a meeting of senior officials of the Home Ministry to discuss the situation arising out the blast which rocked the Capital within two weeks. Earlier, serial blasts at five different places in the Capital had killed 24 people and injured about 100 others.

Home Secretary Madhukar Gupta told reporters that the blast occurred at around 1400 hrs in a market in Mehrauli when a motorcyle, on which two people were riding reported to have kept an object which looked like a tiffin box and moved on. This object was picked up by a boy and it exploded killing the boy and injured some others who have been taken to AIIMS Trauma Centre. The condition of three-four is critical and some of them may require surgery, he said.

Mr Gupta said Police Commissioner and senior officials of the Home Ministry are trying to gather information about the blast from local people. He was in touch with these officials.

The Home Secretary said the incident has just happened and investigations were going on so he would not speculate about its nature. He also urged media not to speculate anything about the incident as it was not in public interest.

Earlier, the Delhi police had received a call threatening blasts in the Capital. The call has traced to a PCO in Faridabad.

Meanwhile, a high alert has been sounded in Delhi and Mumbai.

Condemning the blast, the ministry has asked people to remain calm. It said that some steps have been taken to beef up security in the Capital and more such measures would be taken up.

Meanwhile, NSG team and bomb disposal sqad has reached the blast site.

UNI AJ SP VC1810

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