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2 packets found at Malegaon blasts sites: Deshmukh
September 08, 2006 23:53 IST
Two packets have been found at the blast sites in Malegaon, which was rocked by three bomb explosions on Friday afternoon, Maharashtra Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh said in Mumbai.
"A cycle has been found at one of the blast sites and we suspect it was used in the blast," Deshmukh said after chairing a meeting of state officials.
"The blasts have left 31 dead and over 100 injured," he said adding, forensic experts have rushed to the communally sensitive textile town in Maharashtra's Nashik district.
Earlier, Deputy Chief Minister R R Patil, who also holds Home portfolio, on reaching Malegaon had said 37 people were killed and 50 injured, eleven of them critically.
Terming the explosions as as a "terrorist act", Deshmukh appealed the people and political parties in Maharashtra to maintain communal harmony.
He announced a compensation of Rs 1 lakh to the kin of the dead and Rs 50,000 to the injured persons.
The cost of medical expenses of the injured would be borne by the state government, Deshmukh said.
"I have spoken to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Congress president Sonia Gandhi and Union Home Minister Shivraj Patil over the phone and Patil has assured us all help in maintaining law and order," he said.
The chief minister denied there was any specific intelligence input about the blasts.
Deshmukh said the Anti Terrorist Squad of the police is probing the incident. Asked if the recent haul of explosives in Malegaon and adjoining areas was connected to the blasts, he said, "That angle is also being probed."
Deshmukh announced he would be visiting Malegaon along with Nashik's Guardian Minister Chhagan Bhujbal and Director General of Police P S Pasricha.
Four companies of SRP have been sent to Malegaon while 20 companies of CRPF have been deployed in the town, he added.
70 people having minor injuries were released after initial treatment while 15 people were admitted in Malegaon Municipal Hospital and 20 in private hospitals.
He also appealed to the people not to fall prey to rumours.
"It is not alright to look at this incident as one which is only limited to our state," Deshmukh said.
"Such incidents have international repercussions. The central government is collectively looking at the issues like Naxalism and terrorism in Jammu and Kashmir and other parts of the country," he said.
Asked if Friday's incident and such incidents in the past indicated that areas adjoining Mumbai were being targetted by terrorists, Deshmukh said, "It is wrong to draw such conclusions unilaterally."
The need of the hour is for everyone to exercise restraint and help maintain communal harmony, he said when asked about statements made by some political leaders over the blasts.
Deshmukh said the bomb disposal squad will analyse the contents of the two packets found at the blast site. He also appealed to the electronic media to exercise restraint while showing visuals of the incident. "Electronic media should show visuals in such way that people's sentiments should are not inflamed," he said.