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Sonia, Shivraj Patil, Lalu visit injured
July 11, 2006 21:07 IST
Last Updated: July 12, 2006 02:20 IST
United Progressive Alliance chairperson Sonia Gandhi late on Tuesday night visited those injured in the serial blasts in suburban trains.
Immediately after her arrival from Delhi, Sonia, accompanied by Union Home Minister Shivraj Patil and Railway Minister Lalu Prasad, reached the Bhabha Hospital at around midnight.
The three leaders spent 25 minutes at the hospital and inquired about condition of the injured.
They later left for Matunga Station, scene of one of the seven blasts on the suburban line of the Western Railways.
Earlier, asked how long it would take to restore telephone connections with Mumbai, he could not give any specific time. "They are working on it," he said.
The meeting was attended by National Security Advisor M K Naraynan, Home Secretary V K Duggal. Patil spoke to Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad and Maharashtra Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh before leaving for the prime minister's residence.
Patil read out Singh's statement to journalists. The prime minister expressed anguish at the cowardly acts by terrorists in Jammu and Kashmir and in Mumbai. "My heart reaches out and grieves for all those affected by these blasts and who have lost their near and dear ones. I condemn these shameful acts aimed at our peace loving people," he said.
Singh iterated his government's commitment to fighting every form of terrorism. "The people of Jammu and Kashmir feaced terrorist attacks with courage and fortitude in the past. I am sure they would continue to fight terror resolutely," Singh said.
He said he is confident that the people of Mumbai 'this great city ' have the will and courage to face this situation and will stand firm in their resolve to carry on normal activities without succumbing to threats of terror as they had done more than a decade ago.
"We will work to defeat the evil designs of terrorists and will not allow them to succeed. I urge the people to remain calm, not to believe in rumours and carry on their activities normally. The government will take all possible measures to maintain law and order and defeat the forces of terrorism," Singh said.
Though Mumbai and Maharashtra have been placed under red alert, no such alert has been sounded in other cities of India, Patil said. But police chiefs have been asked to be vigilant, he added.
"The toll may be around 50, may be more, may be less," Patil told reporters when asked about the number of those killed in the seven blasts.
Earlier, condemning as dastardly and inhuman the serial blasts in Mumbai, Sonia asked the Maharashtra government to immediately apprehend the culprits behind the attacks.
She also called for undertaking relief measures. Expressing deep grief and shock over the blasts, she appealed to people across the country to 'collectively isolate such elements from society'.