The opposition party accused the state government of adopting a 'casual and callous' attitude and demanded a high-level probe and a review of security of its prime ministerial candidate.

Mastermind behind Patna serial blasts identified

Leader of the Opposition in Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley said at a press conference here that government needs to rethink on the security drill to be carried out for political rallies ahead of next general elections and redefine its policy.

"This is an attack of Narendra Modi and other senior BJP leaders. It was intended to intimidate our party which has vowed with greater determination to fight these tendencies. The Ministry of Home Affairs and government of India should seriously review the security of Narendra Modi," he said.

Jaitley, who was present at the Patna rally, attacked the Nitish government, saying, "The attitude of Bihar government was casual and callous...In this environment, are we going to be soft on security because some state governments want to be seen as soft on terror for obvious reasons?”

Charging the state with "monumental failure", he said, "This attack coming in this backdrop clearly establishes the extent of radicalization which took place in the state."

Refuting claims of Bihar government that there were no alerts issued by the Centre about the rally, he said, "This does not appear to be factually correct...A specific alert was sent to the Bihar Police by the central Intelligence Bureau on October 23, 2013 with regard to the rally to be addressed by Shri Narendra Modi in Patna."

"This alert was specific enough to mention that the IM modules could organize strikes during Narendra Modi’s Patna visit. A reference to the arrest of Bhatkal, an information emanating from another source was also mentioned," he said.

The BJP leader said that India cannot afford to be either soft on terror or soft on security. "A policy against terror and the need for the security cannot be relatable to the policy of vote bank politics of a given government," he said.

BJP president Rajnath Singh said that there was a "security lapse" at Modi's rally and extra precautions should have been taken. The party plans to make the rally blasts issue a political one and will be holding conferences to highlight the incident in several state capitals on Tuesday.

Bihar Police denies intelligence alert

Bihar Police denied that there was a specific intelligence alert by central agencies about terror threat to BJP's 'Hunkar Rally'.

"There was no specific intelligence input about terror threat to BJP's Hunkar Rally yesterday and Narendra Modi in particular during his Bihar visit," Additional Director General of Police (ADG), Headquarters, Ravindra Kumar, said.

The media was briefed by Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Sunday about lack of intelligence inputs for the BJP rally and Modi in particular during his Bihar visit, he said, adding there has been no change in the state government's stand. "It (intelligence input) deserves no further clarification," Kumar said.

He refused to comment on questions on the role of Indian Mujahideen (IM) operatives or its modules in carrying out serial blasts at the rally venue at Gandhi Maidan and surrounding areas to coincide with Hunkar Rally.

“Investigation is on and the details cannot be disclosed right now,” the ADG said.

“The state police and NIA were jointly carrying out the probe, which is "on the right track,” he said.

The ADG called the press conference to categorically deny that there was a purported confirmation by a senior NIA official that Bihar Police had inadvertently destroyed material evidences related to the blasts while defusing a bomb at Gandhi Maidan.

An NIA official of IG rank has categorically denied having given any sound byte to the media about destruction of material evidences while defusing a bomb after Bihar DGP spoke to top officials of the agency to confirm it, he said.

"No NIA officer has spoken to the media about destruction of evidence while defusing a bomb by the bomb disposal squad of Bihar Police," he added.

(JPN/Agencies)

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