Narendra Modi given full protection; will visit Patna tomorrow: Shinde

Under fire for attending a film music launch shortly after the Patna blasts, Union Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde on Monday said that he will visit Patna tomorrow to review the situation.

Zee Media Bureau/Ritesh K Srivastava

New Delhi: Under fire for attending a film music launch shortly after the Patna blasts, Union Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde on Monday said that he will visit Patna tomorrow to review the situation.

Justifying his decision to attend the music launch of a Hindi movie in Mumbai, Shinde said he was regularly in touch with his officials, who were briefing him about the development related to Patna blasts.

Replying to a question on BJP`s PM candidate Narendra Modi`s security, the Home Minister said that the Gujarat Chief Minister has been given adequate security by the Government of India.

"The GoI has provided full protection to him. I will go to Patna tomorrow to review the situation there and then brief the media about the progress of our probe, " Shinde said.

Shinde has come under the Opposition attack for attending a film related event in Mumbai hours after the serial blasts claimed several lives in Patna on Sunday.

According to reports, the Home Minister attended the music launch of new Hindi film sand also posed for photo-ops with the film`s lead star Kangana Ranaut in a luxury hotel in Mumbai.

The BJP has come down heavily on the Home Minister for his low key response to the incident. However, Shinde later justified the act, saying he was directly in touch with top officials, who were vbriefing him about the developments in Patna.

Shinde also said that he had immediately sent an investigating team to the spot to gather evidence.

"Since the bomb blast at 9.30 am, I have been getting updates about the situation. I have spoken to the CM of Bihar a few times. In the afternoon itself, I sent an NIA (National Investigation Agency) team and a bomb inquiry squad to Patna by plane," he told reporters.

However, the explanation from the Home Minister could not save him from the opposition, who criticised him for slow action.

Blasts in Patna & Home Minister Sushil Shinde enjoying dance at music launch of film Rajjo," was the subject of many tweets and re-tweets from the BJP leaders.

Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan tweeted: "Home Minister launching music, when there were blasts in Patna. Now it`s time for them to hear the music."

The reactions from the Home Minister came shortly after the Jharkhand police claimed that there is a strong resemblance between the blasts in the Bihar capital and the terror attack in Bodh Gaya sometimes back.

Talking to reporters, SN Pradhan, ADG Jarkhand said, "The signature of blasts here resembles the ones carried out in Bodh Gaya."

Pradhan further said, "It seems that serial blasts in Patna do have a Bodh Gaya connection. Timer device, a digital one, which has been used here of same brand that was discovered in Bodh Gaya."

The Jharkhand ADG, however, said that nobody has been detained in Ranchi but the police are verifying each and every detail provided to it by the Bihar police and the intelligence agencies.

Pradhan said, "It appears that not just 4 people but there were around 8-10 people involved in the Patna serial blasts," adding, "Preliminary evidence suggest that there is an Indian Mujahideen (IM) link to it."
Earlier talking to reporters, the Patna police claimed that those who planted the bombs wanted to trigger stampede to cause maximum damage.

Talking to Zee Media, Patna SSP Manu Maharaj said, "The bombers have come in three teams. Each team had 4 to 8 members. They wanted to plant more bombs at various places and trigger a stampede so as to cause more damage."

A number of low intensity bombs were hidden beneath the soil to create panic among the crowd, the Patna SSP said.

The probe is moving in right direction and we have apprehended several people in this connection, the Patna SSP said.

The forensic experts, who visited the bomb blast sites, suspect the use of ammonium nitrate and other explosives in the serial blasts here.
The evidence collected from the blast site is being sent to laboratory for forensic examination, one of the experts said.

The forensic team said that the shrapnel were found as far as 150 metres from the blast site, which implies the blast near the stage where BJP`s PM candidate Narendra Modi was present could have endangered his life.

Meanwhile, reports also claimed that Gujarat intelligence officials have advised Modi not to address the rally in view of threats to his life.

However, Modi turned down this request considering the large number of supporters who have come to Patna to hear him.