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HindustanTimes Fri,25 Apr 2014

All groups hostile to India on "radar", govt on Mumbai blasts

PTI  Mumbai, July 14, 2011
First Published: 12:30 IST(14/7/2011) | Last Updated: 12:36 IST(14/7/2011)

Government on Thursday said that all groups "hostile to India" are on the "radar" in the probe into the terror attack here and did not rule out the possibility of the blasts being an attempt to derail the forthcoming Indo-Pak talks.

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After visiting the sites of the the three serial blasts in crowded areas here last evening that killed 17 persons, Union home minister P Chidambaram made it clear that it was too early "to point a finger at any one group". 131 persons were also injured of whom 23 are seriously injured.

Chidambaram, addressing a 70-minute joint news conference with chief minister Prithviraj Chavan, also said "there was no intelligence failure" prior to the blasts.

There was no intelligence input either with the Central or the state agencies of an "imminent" attack, he said.

"Intelligence is collected every day, every hour. It (blasts) is not a failure of intelligence agencies...whoever has perpetrated the attacks has worked in a very clandestine manner," Chidambaram  said, reiterating it was a "coordinated terror attack".

The minister said that intelligence gathering had successfully "neutralised" a number of planned attacks in the past two and a half years, but declined to give any details.

At the same time, he asserted that Indians lived "in the most troubled neighbourhood in the world" and therefore all cities in India were "vulnerable" to attack. "Pakistan-Afghanistan is the epicentre of terror...we are living in the most troubled neighbourhood," he said.

Asked whether the explosions were timed to disrupt the forthcoming Indo-Pak talks, Chidambaram said "we are not ruling out anything. That angle will also be kept in mind."

Giving details about investigations carried out since last night, Chidambaram said ammonium nitrate, an explosive substance, was used in the IEDs triggered by timer devices.

He ruled out the use of remote control to trigger the blasts in Zaveri Bazar, Opera House and Dadar areas.

"We are not pointing a finger at this stage," Chidambaram said, adding  there had been no claim of responsibility for the attack.

"All groups hostile to India are on the radar. We are not ruling out anything, we are not ruling in anything. We are looking at everyone," he said. Chidambaram said, adding "We have to look at every possible hostile group and find out whether they are behind the blast."

Chidambaram's response came to repeated questions whether he suspected the hand of a foreign terror group or right wing groups or the underworld or the Maoists or Indian Mujahideen in the explosions.

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