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PM admits to 'vast gaps' in intelligence

delhi Updated: Sep 18, 2008 11:26 IST

AFP
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The Indian government has admitted to "vast gaps" in intelligence gathering and says it will look to tighten anti-terror legislation following a spate of bombings in major cities.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said tougher laws could also be backed up by creating a centralised agency to coordinate investigations into attacks in different Indian states.

"We are actively considering legislation to further strengthen the substantive anti-terrorism law in line with the global consensus on the fight against terrorism," Singh told reporters late on Wednesday.

Singh's government has been strongly criticised in the wake of serial bomb blasts this year in the cities of Jaipur, Ahmedabad, Bangalore and Delhi that claimed more than 100 lives.

After Saturday's blasts in the Indian capital killed 22 people, the media accused the government of incompetence and of lacking a coherent counter-terrorist strategy.

While acknowledging that there were "vast gaps in intelligence" that needed to be overcome, Singh rejected opposition charges that his administration's policies had made the country more vulnerable to attack.

"There is no question of government being soft on terrorism," he said.