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ATS will probe blasts, says CM

Deshmukh says the police were yet to figure out which terrorist group was responsible for the explosions.

india Updated: Sep 09, 2006 03:49 IST

Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh on Friday said that probe in the Malegaon incident has been handed over to the Anti-Terrorist Squad (ATS) that is also investigating the 11/7 Mumbai blasts. The ATS team has already reached Malegaon.

Talking to the media after a review meeting with top home department officials, Deshmukh said the police were yet to figure out which terrorist group was responsible for the explosions though it was clear that it was a terrorist act.

The situation in Malegaon is under control though the police had to fire in the air as seven policemen were injured in a stone-pelting incident, Deshmukh said. He also said that only two bomb blasts were reported - one inside Bada Kabarastan and other at Mashaira Chowk.

The police suspect that the bicycles found at the blasts sites were probably used to transport explosives. The police also found two packets of explosives at the site, Deshmukh said.

However, he denied that there was intelligence failure on part of the police. “There was general information but no specific tip-offs on the bombings,” the chief minister said.

He announced ex gratia payment of Rs 1 lakh for the dead and Rs 50,000 for the injured. Besides, the state government will bear all expenditure for treatment of the injured, he said.

Earlier, Deshmukh had appealed to Opposition leaders to cooperate with the government in maintaining the law and order situation.

Deshmukh also briefed Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Congress president Sonia Gandhi on the situation.

Union Home Minister Shivraj Patil will visit Malegaon on Friday along with Deshmukh and Guardian Minister of Nashik, Chhagan Bhujbal.

It has been decided not to withdraw the extra security deployed for Ganesh festival in Mumbai, Deshmukh added.