US offers assistance to investigate Varanasi blast
New Delhi: US Ambassador to India Timothy J. Roemer on Wednesday offered his condolences to the victims of yesterday``s bomb blast in Varanasi and said that United States ready to provide assistance to the Indian Government to investigate this heinous crime and bring the perpetrators to justice.
The blast occurred at around 6:20 p.m. on Tuesday at Sheetla Ghat in Varanasi, which left an infant girl dead, and over 30 others injured.
Describing the blast as a "deplorable and cowardly attack," Roemer said: "We stand ready to provide any appropriate assistance to the Indian government to investigate this heinous crime and bring the perpetrators to justice."
He further said he was very saddened to hear of the tragic incident in Varanasi, a city well-known for the tolerance of its citizens and acceptance of religious diversity.
"My thoughts and prayers go out to the families and friends of the victims and for the speedy recovery of those who have been injured," he added.
"The perpetrators of this senseless act have accomplished nothing. Their message is one of death and destruction, which accomplishes nothing. The United States stands shoulder to shoulder with the people of India in condemning such meaningless violence and brutal attacks on the innocent," he said
Roemer further said that, in his travels through India, he had been very fortunate to visit Varanasi and had felt the warmth of the city from its spiritual leaders and school children, the energy from its business community, and the vibrancy from the students at Banaras Hindu University.
"I have been inspired by attending the aarti ceremony on the banks of the Ganga River. The spirit of this great city that has been embedded into the soul of its citizens for the past 3000 years by all faiths will overcome today``s tragic event so that Varanasi continues to be a shining example to the world of peace, tolerance, and religious freedom," he added.
Terror outfit Indian Mujahideen(IM) claimed responsibility for the blast in e-mails sent to media houses and said it "attributed" the attack to the demolition of Babri Masjid in 1992.
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