Dhaka: On a day when Delhi was rocked by a powerful blast, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh voiced concern over forces of extremism and terrorism, saying they "threaten our state systems and impede our progress."

Articulating his views on the issue at a gathering of intellectuals in Dhaka University, Singh said "both India and Bangladesh are vulnerable to the forces of extremism and
terrorism."
    
"Such forces sap the strength of our societies, threaten our state systems and impede our progress," he said, adding "It is, therefore, of paramount importance that we work together to confront this challenge."

Later in a statement to the Indian journalists accompanying him on his two-day visit here, the Prime Minister denounced the blast outside the Delhi High Court as a "cowardly act of terrorist nature."
    
"I just heard the sad news from Delhi about the bomb blast. I am told that 10 people have been killed. This is cowardly act of terrorist nature. We will deal with it. We will never succumb to the pressure of terrorism," Singh said.

He said "this is a long war in which all political parties, all the people of India have to stand united so that the scourge of terrorism is crushed".

In his address at the Dhaka University, Singh said Bangladesh has firmly rejected extremist ideas and achieved success as an open, moderate and vibrant society and democracy.

"India and Bangladesh share these values. Our people have a common civilisational heritage," the Prime Minister said.

Attackers not identified yet: Chidambaram

It was not possible at this stage to identify the terrorists who exploded a bomb outside Delhi High Court on Wednesday killing nine people, Home Minister P Chidambaram said.

Chidambaram told the Lok Sabha that Delhi was a target for terrorists as it was the national capital.

Accordingly, Delhi had been put on high security alert, he said in a brief statement.

The minister said the blast left nine dead and some seriously injured. 'We are clear that there is no cause that will justify the terrorist act,' he said.
Home Minister P Chidambaram on Wednesday said intelligence about threats were shared with Delhi Police in July but contended that it would not be possible at this stage to identify the group that caused the bomb blast at High Court.

Making a statement in the Lok Sabha on the blast, he regretted that the "tragic incident" had taken place despite Delhi Police being on high alert and capacity being built to strengthen the force in the last few years.

Informing members that the case will be handed over to the National Investigative Agency (NIA), Chidambaram said government will not be intimidated by terrorist groups and was "determined to track down the perpetrators of this horrific crime and bring them to justice."

He noted that Delhi is a target of terrorist groups and when Parliament is in session and during certain other times of the year, the capital is placed on high alert.

"Intelligence agencies constantly share intelligence inputs with Delhi Police. Intelligence pertaining to threats emanating from certain groups was shared with Delhi Police in July, 2011," the Home Minister said.

"At this stage, it is not possible to identify the group that caused the bomb blast today," he said about the terror strike which was the second incident at the High Court in over three months.

BJP, Left condemn blast

Condemning the blast outside the Delhi High Court, BJP and Left parties today said the Government should explain to the people whether there was an intelligence failure.
   
BJP spokesperson Ravishankar Prasad described the incident as a "great pain, great agony and great distress."
   
"We outrightly condemn it. Why is the government not taking action? The incident has happened right in the heart of the capital, adjacent to India Gate and outside a gate of the
Delhi High Court. There is no security and there is no intelligence beef-up," he told reporters. He said the blast was "deeply regrettable" and said the government should answer how many innocent civilians would have to die in the country due to terrorist attacks.
   
   
CPI National Secretary D Raja said the party "strongly condemns" the blast and asked the government to explain why such terror attacks keep happening in the country.
   
"The government should initiate a thorough probe into the incident and they should say whether it was a failure of the intelligence agencies or failure of the policy adopted by
it with regard to terror," he said.
   
"The government should answer. No person involved in such attacks should go scot-free. I think there is a failure on the part of the government particularly the Home Ministry,"
he said.
   
Janata Party president Subramanian Swamy demanded that Home Minister P Chidambaram resign in the wake of the incident.
   
"The UPA Government has failed to formulate a counter-terrorist strategy. I also demand that the Prime Minister cancel his visit to Bangladesh forthwith," he said.

Gadkari attacks Chidambaram

Expressing dismay over the blast in the heart of the "seat of power", BJP president Nitin
Gadkari hit out at Home Minister P Chidambaram, asking him to stop attacking political opponents and instead concentrate on fighting terrorism.
    
"That terrorists could strike in the very heart of the seat of power of the central government with impunity is a serious matter and has exposed the tall claims of Delhi Police
and the intelligence agencies about the safety of the national capital," Gadkari said in a statement.
   
He demanded a high-level probe into the incident to bring the culprits to book and look into the "failure of the intelligence agencies".
   
Bollywood condemns blast

Bollywood stars have expressed their anger and grief over the Delhi High Court blast
that killed 11 people and injured 64.

People from film fraternity took to twitter to express their dismay over the medium to high intenstity blast at around 10.15 am today in the national capital.
   
"Just heard about the bomb blasts in the high court in Delhi. How sad that terrorism has become rampant in our country. My prayers with the victims," Sonam Kapoor posted on
Twitter.

Shahid Kapoor, her co-star in 'Mausam' tweeted, "sad sad sad. Unacceptable. terrorists are the worst of all living things ...We need to deal with them extremely strongly."
   
Veteran actor Anupam Kher tweeted, "Wake up Mr Home Minister. Please Protect the citizens of this country. Innocent and ordinary lives are equally important."
   
NRI filmmaker Shekhar Kapur also expressed his grief through the microblogging site.
   
"Reports coming in on a number of dead at high court blast in Delhi, terrible tragedy, once again terror hits India," he tweeted.
   
"This cannot become a way of life," wrote Boman Irani.

Filmmmaker Karan Johar condoled the loss of life. "Thoughts and prayers for the families and loved ones of the delhi blast victims.....," he tweeted.
   
Actress Dia Mirza said, "Enough. God Please."

Gul Panag wrote, "Another blast??!! Why??"

Sanjay Suri wrote,"Heartfelt sympathies to victims & their families. Prayers."
   
"Heard about the Delhi blast. Hope everyone is ok. Plz be safe," Neil Nitin Mukesh wrote on his page.

Israel expresses shock


Condemning the blast at Delhi High Court, visiting Israeli Minister Stas Misezhnikov said he was shocked and dismayed by the vicious terror attack and conveyed his country's condolences to the bereaved families.
   
"Israel and India are close partners. We are brothers in times of joy and happiness and in times of sorrow and grief. After spending the last couple of days in New Delhi, I know
that the Indian people and the government will prevail and I wish to extend official and personal condolences to the bereaved families and send our wishes for quick recovery to
the injured," Israel's Tourism Minister Misezhnikov said.
   
He said he was "shocked and dismayed" after watching the pictures of the "vicious" terror strike at the Delhi High Court.
   
"Only a twisted mind can perpetuate a murderous attack against a shrine of justice and democracy, a house in which all men are equal and peace loving," he said.

(Agencies)