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Shivraj Patil appeals for calm

Onkar Singh in New Delhi | September 13, 2008 22:09 IST
Last Updated: September 13, 2008 22:57 IST

Union Home Minister Shivraj Patil [Images] warned of "stringent punishment" to those behind the serial blasts in New Delhi [Images] and appealed to people to be united to thwart their nefarious designs.

Patil, who reviewed the situation soon after the blasts, which claimed several lives, said the need of the hour was to ensure that their aims did not succeed and the situation was not allowed to deteriorate.

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He appealed to the people to check rumour mongering and act with courage so that social harmony was not disturbed.

Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dixit and senior police officials were present at the review meeting.

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Patil said the fact that the blasts took place in crowded markets on a Saturday indicated the evil intention of the culprits to cause maximum casualties and damage.

He said anti-national elements have been trying to disturb peace and create panic among the people in various parts of the country.

"The government will continue to deal firmly with such elements," he said, adding that he was confident that security agencies will soon be able to get to the bottom of these incidents and the culprits will be brought to book.

Patil said that it would be improper to jump to conclusions at this point and the media should wait for the investigations to conclude.

He refused to comment on the statement of Bharatiya Janata Party senior leader L K Advani [Images], who claimed that Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi [Images] had informed Patil that terrorists were planning to strike in New Delhi.

"I am not here to do politics over a tragic incident. What Modi told me is not for discussion in the media," he said. "Those who are behind the incident would be dealt with severely," he added.

Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit, who visited the blast sites, has convened an urgent cabinet meeting over the Delhi blasts.

With additional reportage from PTI

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