Goa Police say allowing CM at blast site not a security lapse
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Last Updated: Thursday, October 29, 2009, 21:20
Panaji: Goa Police on Thursday said that allowing Chief Minister Digamber Kamat to visit the site of the Margao bomb blast within minutes of the explosion was not a security lapse.

"Allowing Chief Minister in the area after the blast was not a lapse. As the head of the state, he is entitled to be briefed about the situation," Superintendent of Police (PRO) Atmaram Deshpande told reporters here.

"Being Chief Minister of the state and moreover as a local MLA, he had to be there. We cannot call it as a security lapse. If he had not come, we would have informed him immediately about the incident," Deshpande said.

Kamat's presence at Margao blast site on October 16 within minutes of the explosion had evoked strong reaction from the Opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which had termed it a serious security lapse. Leader of Opposition Manohar Parrikar had alleged that the police failed to follow the "blue book", which had to be adhered to during such times. The Diwali eve Margao blast, which was accidentally triggered when two Sanatan Saunstha activists were ferrying explosives on a scooter, happened few metres away from a function where the chief minister was the guest. Deshpande, ruled out that the police were not in control of the situation after the blast and said it is the discretion of officer in charge whether to allow any VIP at the site or not.

By the time the chief minister arrived, the blast had already taken place and two more explosives were recovered. He went after the incident when the situation was under control, the Superintendent of Police said.

The state police, which failed to stop the crowded 'Narakasur Competition' being held near the blast site, even one-and-a-half hour after the blast, claimed it had activated the red-alert scheme post-explosion.

The red-alert scheme designed for Goa was activated immediately after the blast and the alert in the state continued till 3 am, a senior police official said.

He said that all police officers were geared up and vehicles across the state were thoroughly checked.

Admitting that there were some errors in implementing the scheme, a senior police official stated that these errors would be rectified.

Bureau Report

First Published: Thursday, October 29, 2009, 21:20

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