File photo of Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram
File photo of Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram

Chidambaram says investigators have got "promising clues" in Delhi blast case

NetIndian News Network

New Delhi, September 9, 2011

Union Home Minister P Chdidambaram today said the investigations into Wednesday's powerful blast outside the Delhi High Court, which had claimed 13 lives and left about 72 people injured, had thrown up some promising leads but nothing conclusive yet.

"We have some promising but not conclusive leads," he said at a news conference here this afternoon.

He said preliminary reports by forensic experts pointed to the use of nitrate in the bomb that went off at around 1014 hours on Wednesday near the reception outside gates 4 and 5 of the High Court complex. He said the reports were being reconciled to establish the exact nature of the explosives.

Mr Chidambaram said the investigating agencies had also managed to nab the person who is suspected of sending the first e-mail, purportedly from the Harkat-ul-Jehadi Islami (HuJI), claiming responsibility for the blast. The e-mail was sent from an internet cafe in Kishtwar in Jammu and Kashmir.

Since then, there have been two more e-mail messages, purportedy from different outfits and also claiming responsibility for the terrorist attack.

The latest e-mail, he said, was rather "amateurish" but the agencies were taking it lightly. It had pointed to the possibility that the next strike could be in Ahmedabad. He said the Gujarat government had been alerted in this regard.

The Minister said a detauked advisory was being issued to all the States, reiterating earlier advisories and asking them to take steps for enhanced vigil against similar terror attacks, particularly in metropolitan areas.

"In particular, owners and managements of such establishments which usually attract large public congregations have been advised to ensure strict access control and security related surveillance in respect of suspicious persons and objects. In particular, the security arrangements in Delhi shall be reviewed shortly by the Home Ministry with a view to optimizing the available resources and ensuring synergy among all agencies involved in emergency response," he said.

He said the National Investigation Agency (NIA), which has been entrusted with the case, the Delhi Police and other agencies were literally working round the clock to find the culprits.

Mr Chidambaram spoke at length of the efforts made by the Government to strengthen the security and intelligence apparatus, brick by brick.

He said security awareness was the joint responsibility of the Centre, the state governments and every citizen. He said there had to be a change in the attitude of the people towards security-related issues.

"Everyone has to remain on alert. Everyone has to report if they notice any unattended object, suspicious person, suspicious object or suspicious movement," he said.

He said all the investigating agencies, central police organisations and state police organisations had recruited hundreds of people in recent times and many more would be recruited in the coming months, but there would still be vacancies of five to six lakh people. He said this was the result of accumulated neglect over many years by successive governments.

Mr Chidambaram flayed the Opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) for criticising the Government on the issue of terrorism at a time when bipartisanship on such matters was the need of the hour.

"There was a terror attack in December 2001 when the NDA was in power. I don't recall the then Opposition calling a press conference to attack the Government...It is not in the DNA of the BJP to maintain bipartisanship," he said.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today asked the Home Minister and Law and Justice Minister Salman Khurshid to call on the Chief Justice of India and take urgent steps to beef up security arrangements in the Supreme Court complex, an official press release said.