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NIA to probe Patna blasts case

This was stated by Union home minister Sushilkumar Shinde after Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar met him in North Block for 30-minutes during which he briefed him on the law-and- order situation in the state.

Bihar, where terror struck in July at Bodh Gaya followed by Sunday’s blast in which six were killed and over 80 people injured, also sought Centre’s help in establishing an anti- terror squad in the state.

‘We have discussed the issue (blasts). We have to strengthen our anti-terror capabilities as Bihar has not witnessed any such major incident. But we need the Centre’s help. We need force and equipment. We have also decided to set up an anti-terror squad,’ Kumar told reporters.

Making it clear that his government had no Intelligence input about possible terror strike, the chief minister said Bihar Police already arrested one person involved in the explosions when he was trying to flee the Patna railway station.

‘From his interrogation, we got several leads. Now the investigation is going on. Since Bihar Police does not have the database of terrorists and the NIA has, we have decided to hand over the case to NIA following a recommendation of state DGP. Bihar Police will offer all help in the probe,’ he said.

The Bihar chief minister admitted that the state police initially could not comprehend what was happening when the serial blasts took place on Sunday. ‘Now we are doing the needful. But we need central help,’ he said.

Kumar said the state has made security arrangements for upcoming festivals like Diwali, Chhath and Muharram.

He also met finance minister P Chidambaram and pressed the demand for special status to Bihar.
He said the expert committee, which was constituted to consider Bihar’s demand, has not given a favourable report and the state government was not happy with it.

‘But the finance minister has assured us that Bihar’s demand will be considered sympathetically,’ he said.

He criticised the Planning Commission for preparing the adverse report saying the officials of the plan panel themselves were reflecting their contradictions.

He also said the status of Bihar should be measured on the basis of per capita income for granting any financial aid.

Meanwhile, former Bihar deputy chief minister Sushil Kumar Modi on Wednesday said that party’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi will visit Bihar again on 2 November to meet the families of six victims of the Patna serial blasts.

Modi will arrive in Patna by plane and visit families of serial blast victims in different districts and express his condolence to the affected families, the state BJP leader said.
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