Shinde unlikely to visit Patna today

Shinde unlikely to visit Patna today

As serial blasts rocked Patna ahead of BJP Prime Ministerial candidate Narendra Modi’s rally, the Centre on Monday alerted states, especially the five poll-bound states, to maintain tight security in the festive season.

Union Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde, who landed in controversy as he attended a music concert after the blasts, is unlikely to visit Patna on Tuesday as decided earlier as Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar will not be in the capital for reviewing the situation.

However, Union Home Secretary Anil Goswami will fly to Patna to review the law and order situation in Bihar.

Kumar is now expected to travel to Delhi on Wednesday when Shinde will hold a review meeting on the situation in Bihar.

The Centre has specifically asked Delhi, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan and Mizoram to remain on alert as top leaders will be criss-crossing these states as part of election campaign.

The states have been asked to beef up security at rally venues, especially after it came to light that there were no access control measures at Gandhi Maidan where BJP prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi addressed an election rally. Security agencies have informed Union Home Ministry that Bihar Police did not conduct Advance Security Liaison despite several reminders, keeping in mind threat to Modi from terrorists.

Though Bihar government and police denied existence of intelligence inputs about the blasts, sources said the central intelligence agencies had informed the state that Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi invokes a fair degree of dissent from a number of radical Muslim groups and could be targeted.

The security agencies are also worried about the upcoming festive season which could come in handy for terrorist attacks.

The states have been asked to keep strict vigil on sensitive places, markets, religious sites, railway stations, bus terminus and vital installations.

Sources said investigators also suspect that the Bodh Gaya and Sunday Patna blasts were interlinked. Timer watch, procured in bulk from a shop in Guwahati, was again used in the seven blasts.

The sleuths of National Investigation Agency are questioning the two persons arrested in the case. On his part, Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde said central government has provided adequate security to the Gujarat chief minister.

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