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Blasts probe: Deshmukh hopeful of breakthrough

Deshmukh sees a breakthrough in the probe into Mumbai blasts within days.

india Updated: Jul 15, 2006 23:04 IST

Expressing confidence that a breakthrough in the probe into the Mumbai blasts would be achieved within days, Maharashtra Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh on Saturday said the megapolis became a target for terrorists due to the perception that "an attack on Mumbai is an attack on India".

"We will book the culprits. We have 16 teams (investigating), they are going on proper lines. There is progress. It could be as early as possible. If possible today, one cannot say," Deshmukh said when asked when a breakthrough would be achieved in the probe into the blasts that claimed 200 lives.

Admitting he could not escape responsibility for the terror attacks, Deshmukh told to a private news channel, "I cannot escape the responsibility. As Chief Minister it is my primary responsibility that law and order is properly maintained."

On the meeting planned in Mumbai on Monday by the BJP that is to be attended by controversial Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi, Deshmukh said he would be happy if Modi defers his visit. "It will be the most sensible thing to do (for Modi) because of his background."

He said opposition parties, including Leader of Opposition Gopinath Munde, who belongs to BJP, have so far cooperated with his government.

Replying to a question on Prime Minister Manmohan Singh hinting at a Pakistani hand in the blasts, Deshmukh said, "His statement has given certain direction to our investigations."

He said the warning issued by intelligence agencies ahead of the attacks was "general" in nature and "not specific".