Jitin Prasada urges Patil to take up Salboni attack with WB govt

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New Delhi, Nov 4 (UNI) Minister of State for Steel Jitin Prasada has urged Union Home Minister Shivraj Patil to take up the issue of Sunday's attack in Salboni on Union Minister Ram Vilas Paswan with the West Bengal government, decrying the ''casual approach'' of the state police regarding the security of central ministers.

In a letter to the Home Minister, Mr Prasada claimed that the landmine blast which blew up the vehicle immediately ahead of the car carrying him and Steel, Chemicals and Fertilisers Minister Ram Vilas Paswan had been ''wrongly projected'' as an attack on West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee.

The Union Ministers had gone to Salboni, Midnapore district in West Bengal to attend the foundation stone laying ceremony of JSW Bengal Steel Ltd, a joint venture of JSW Ltd and the West Bengal government. The Chief Minister had also attended the function.

''The media reports so far have wrongly reported that the Chief Minister's convoy was hit by this blast. In fact, he had already left in a different convoy. The state police and the state PR machinery wrongfully projected it as attack on the Chief Minister.

''The area is naxalite-affected and the security agencies of the state, who are supposed to be responsible for the security, did not do their job properly. The blast was detonated by a wire which was about 1.2 km long,'' Mr Prasada said.

The attack exposed the casual approach of the state police when it came to the security of Union Ministers, he alleged.

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