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May 14, 2008 at 09:15pm IST

Raje calls for 'Gujarat-like' law

New Delhi: Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje on Wednesday condemned the serial blasts that rocked Jaipur on Tuesday night and said a strong law like POTA should be brought to contain the terror

"We need a strong law like that in Gujarat to deal with this menace that has claimed innocent lives," she was quoted as saying by news agencies.

Stressing the need for POTA, Raje said a Centre-state cooperation mechanism was required to work against global terror.

"There is a well organised terrorist group behind this. Terrorists from across the border could be involved. There is a need for a stronger law like POTA," she said.

Slamming the Centre, she said, "We did not get any specific warning from the Centre. In any case, Intelligence reports are akin to weather reports."

She said a bill on organised crime passed by Rajasthan Vidhan Sabha in 2006 was still awaiting the President's consent, while similar bills from Maharashtra and Himachal Pradesh were cleared long back.

She said certain leads have been picked up and some people have been detained in connection with the serials blasts.

“There are some slender leads on which the state agencies are working and its difficult to name any terror outfit at present,” Raje told a press conference here.

" I condemn this blast. They have tried to ruin the communal harmony of the state but they will not succeed never in the history of Rajasthan such a heinous incident has happened and this is not an attack on the state but on the nation. People of Jaipur have shown resilience in the most difficult of times,” she said.

The official death toll is 63 — 56 in SMS hospital and 7 in SDM hospital – Raje said, adding that the dead included several women and children. The number of those who sustained injuries in the blasts is 118, she said.

Raje also said there was no specific information with regard to the terror strike from central agencies except some regular notices sent on Republic and Independence days to every state.

And it seems that the blame game for the Jaipur serial blasts has begun in earnest. Union Minister of State for Home Sri Prakash Jaiswal has denied an intelligence lapse on the part of the Central government.

He said the Centre had repeatedly warned border states like Rajasthan to be wary of attacks, following the Ajmer blasts last year.

"We have repeatedly warned the state governments, especially states on the border, that an attack can occur at anytime. Especially Rajasthan, where seven months ago there was an attack on Ajmer Sharif. It is not correct to call it an intelligence failure," he said.

Earlier, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Union Home Minister Shivraj Patil spoke to Raje on phone and assured all possible help from the Centre in the wake of the terror strike.

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