India on alert after Varanasi blast
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Last Updated: Tuesday, December 07, 2010, 22:43
  
New Delhi: The Union Home Ministry has sounded a nationwide alert with special stress on four major cities - Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore and Hyderabad - in wake of the blast in Varanasi.

"A general alert has been sent to all state governments and they have been asked to stay on high alert," Union Home Secretary G K Pillai said here.

"It was low intensity blast which occurred at about 6.20 pm in which three-four people were injured. Subsequently we understand there could have been a stampede...as a result 15-20 people were injured. So roughly 20-25 people injured," he said.

According to Home Ministry sources, alerts have been issued to the four metropolis - Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore and Hyderabad - in particular.

They said a high-level team of the National Investigation Agency is also likely to visit the holy town.

Secretary for Internal Security at MHA, U K Bansal said, "We had alerted Uttar Pradesh Police sometime back. I am sure the UP police will take it as a challenge. There is no reason for panic."

Kolkata Police tonight issued an alert and stepped up security in the metropolis in the wake of the blast in Varanasi.

"Even though there is no instruction from the Union Home Ministry, we have put our forces on alert," Kolkata Police Commissioner Gautam Mohan Chakraborty said.

Security agencies stepped up vigil in the national capital as well. According to police sources, the anti-terror measures were activated soon after the explosion at Sheetla Ghat in Varanasi.

"We have alerted our personnel. We have stepped up vigil. Anyway, our personnel are always on alert," a senior police official said.

The official said police will be checking vehicles randomly. "We are appealing to people to report to us about any suspicious movement in their localities," he said

An alert has been declared in Gujarat as well. All security agencies in the state have been alerted and security heightened in all sensitive parts of the state, Additional Director General of Police (Law and Order) Sudhir Sinha said.

-PTI


First Published: Tuesday, December 07, 2010, 22:43


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