New Delhi: Hours after a powerful blast went off outside the Delhi High Court killing at least 11 people and injuring more than 76 others, Union Home Minister P Chidambaram on Wednesday confirmed that it was the handiwork of terrorists who were trying to create unrest in the country.
Issuing a statement in Lok Sabha, Chidambaram said, “The blast outside the Delhi High Court is a terrorist blast. It is a high-intensity blast. Till the last report came, at least nine people have died and over 47 have sustained serious injuries. All the injured have been taken to RML and other hospitals for treatment and are being taken care of.”
Chidambaram stated that intelligence about threats were shared with Delhi Police in July but
contended that it would not be possible at this stage to identify the group that caused the bomb blast at High Court.
Informing members that the case will be handed over to the National Investigative Agency (NIA), Chidambaram said, “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."
He noted that Delhi is a prime 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 strike which was the second incident at the High Court in over
Observing that the objective of terrorist groups was to strike fear and to destabilise 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."
Making the statement with "profound sorrow and regret", the Home Minister appealed to the House and the country saying, "We must remain resolute and united" at this point of time.
"We must not show any vacillation. We shall never be intimidated by terrorist groups. We are determined to track down the perpetrators of this horrific crime and bring them to
justice," he said.
"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, he 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.
Soon after he made his brief statement in the Lok Sabha, Home Minister went straight to the Delhi High Court blast site to take stock of the situation personally.
As per eyewitnesses, the blast was very loud and powerful. The bomb is said to have been placed in a briefcase and left near gate number five of the court.
Army was deployed immediately outside the High Court premises and a team of National Security Guards also reached the spot to take stock of the situation.
Meanwhile, a high alert has also been sounded in the entire city and security of all vital installations, including Parliament, has been tightened.