Goa Home Minister Ravi Naik has admitted that the Diwali eve blast in the state, in which two associates of the rightwing Hindu outfit Sanatan Sanstha (SS) were killed when the bomb they were ferrying exploded, was a result of intelligence failure.
Naik has also assured that strict action would be taken, if supervisory intelligence officials were found guilty of lapses.
"It will not be wrong to say that the Margao blast (on Oct 16) was a result of a failure of the intelligence machinery," Naik told a local news channel in an interview late Monday evening.
Calling for a thorough probe into intelligence lapses, Naik also said that it was necessary to fix responsibility for the error in intelligence gathering. The lapse in intelligence had allowed two associates of SS to explode detonator-rigged gelatine sticks in Margao, a town in south Goa about 35 km from Panaji.
Both SS associates Malgonda Patil and Yogesh Naik, who were ferrying a bomb to a crowd of festive revellers on a scooter, were killed when it accidentally exploded.
"What we have to see is, if police intelligence officials at the ground level have submitted a report on the activities of the SS to their superiors at all," Naik said. "And then if the superior officers received the report and still ignored it, then those officials will have to be prepared to face action," he added.
Naik also said that the home ministry had asked the state police to closely monitor the activities of the Sanstha, which is headquartered in an ashram in the temple town of Ramnathi, 30 km east of Panaji.
"We are monitoring all activities of the SS. All the contents of their newspaper (Sanatan Prabhat) are being regularly scanned and analysed by the police on a daily basis now. We are assessing all the information we have on the SS," Naik said. When asked if Goa was planning to ban the Sanstha, Naik refused to comment.
The police have arrested two members of the SS in connection with the blast. Both the accused Vinay Talekar, 30, and Vinayak Patil, 27, are originally from Karnataka.