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December 14, 2001
1010 IST

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Pak-based terrorists 'may be' involved: Mahajan

Onkar Singh in New Delhi

The Delhi police's special investigating team headed by Deputy Commissioner (Anti-terrorists Branch) Ashok Chand is following several leads in Thursday's terrorist attack on Parliament.

Though no terrorist organisation has so far claimed responsibility for the attack in which 12 persons, including five terrorists, were killed, top police officers are convinced that it was the handiwork of a Pakistan-based terrorist organisation.

Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pramod Mahajan, who spoke to Star TV this morning, agreed with this point of view, but chose his words carefully.

"It's a known fact that terrorism in our country is sponsored by our neighbour," he said.

The minister pointed out that while the US president and the UK prime minister condemned the attack as an act of terrorism, Pakistan's president chose to call the attackers 'armed intruders.'

Meanwhile, Delhi Police Commissioner Ajay Raj Sharma met his senior police officers at the police headquarters late on Thursday and discussed the situation.

"It would be difficult to say whether Jaish-e-Mohammad or Lashkar-e-Tayiba is involved, but the similarities between the October 1 attack on the Jammu and Kashmir assembly building and Thursday's assault on Parliament are obvious," a senior police officer said.

Though the Delhi police, according to some sources, had information about the presence of some terrorists in Delhi, raids conducted in the Chandni Chowk area in the old city had not yielded any results.

"We are on the job," said Ashok Chand.

No one in Delhi police is, however, willing to admit to any security lapse.

Investigating teams are now concentrating on the white ambassador car which was used by the terrorists to gain entry into the Parliament complex.

The car belongs to a private firm, which has its office in India Habitat Centre in south Delhi. Though the car was sold by the company recently, its ownership papers are still in the name of this private firm.

The Delhi police is also trying to find out who gave shelter to the terrorists and how they were able to procure explosives in such large quantities.

Complete Coverage: The Attack on Parliament

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