HC blast despite intelligence alert in July: Chidambaram

HC blast despite intelligence alert in July: Chidambaram

New Delhi: As terror struck capital again, home minister P. Chidambaram on Wednesday regretted that the bomb blast near High Court here had taken place despite intelligence being shared with Delhi Police in July and the force being on high alert.

He told Parliament that it was not possible at “this stage" to identify the group behind the attack but asserted that 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".

Making identical statements with “profound sorrow and regret" in both the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha, Chidambaram 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 attack which was the second incident at the High Court in over three months.

Observing that the objective of terrorist groups was to strike fear and to destabilize the country, Chidambaram said, “We are clear in our mind that there is no cause that will justify terrorist acts. Government unequivocally condemns the terrorist attack that took place today."

Appealing to the Parliament and the country to “remain resolute and united" at this point of time, he said, “We must not show any vacillation. We shall never be intimidated by terrorist groups."

Chidambaram said the case has been handed over to National Investigative Agency (NIA).

“On behalf of the government, I offer my sincere condolences to the families of those who lost their lives. I offer my sympathies to those who have been injured," he said, assuring the House that the government would extend the best medical treatment to the injured.

Giving details of the incident, the home minister said the “high intensity" blast occurred at 10.14 am just outside the reception centre of the High Court between gate no. 4 and gate no. 5.

“It is suspected that the bomb was placed in a briefcase," Chidambaram said, adding, teams from Central Forensic Sciences Laboratory (CFSL), NIA and NSG rushed to the spot.

“A post blast investigation team of the Delhi Police is also carrying out investigations," he said.

The scene of the incident was cordoned off immediately and ambulances reached the scene and removed the injured within 20 minutes, he added.