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26/11 attacks a deliberate assault on India: Sonia

December 18, 2008 15:20 IST

Describing the Mumbai terror strikes as a 'deliberate assault' on the country, Congress chief Sonia Gandhi [Images] on Thursday warned that people perpetrating such attacks cannot continue to take India for granted any longer and said the response has to be firm and effective.

"I want to say very categorically here that those who perpetrate such attacks on our people and those who direct or support them cannot continue to take India for granted any longer. Our response has to be firm and effective," she told a meeting of the Congress Parliamentary Party in New Delhi [Images].

She said the 'whole country is united in its determination to combat the forces of terrorism wherever they may be'.

Sonia said the December 11 resolution in Parliament reflects the resolve of all political parties to set aside their differences when it comes to dealing with the scourge of terrorism.

"They (Mumbai attacks) were a deliberate assault on our nationhood and a brazen attempt to destroy the fabric of our society and our secular democratic way of life," Sonia said, while eulogising security personnel for showing 'extraordinary' courage and bravery.

She also referred to the statements of External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee about the steps the government was taking as also the passage of the National Investigation Agency Bill and Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Amendment Bill in the Lok Sabha.

Sonia said the new laws will balance the need for an 'uncompromising tough set of laws against' terrorism with the need to respect human rights.

Referring to the recent blasts in Guwahati, the Congress chief said: "The attacks too had resulted in the loss of innocent lives. Investigations are underway. We hope that those responsible for this dastardly deed will be brought to book."

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