Varanasi: Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati has demanded that the Central Government should provide Varanasi with an anti-terrorism force similar to the one provided to Mumbai after 26/11.
After visiting the blast site, which left a child dead over 30 others injured, Mayawati said: We will request the Centre to provide us with a Special Force to tackle such incidents in the future and ensure that such incidents don’t take place.
"We will request the Centre to provide us with similar security arrangements made after 26/11 in Mumbai," she said.
She said she will write a letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram in this regard.
Earlier, she presided over an emergency meeting of senior government officials in Lucknow and sent a team of officials, besides BSP state unit president Swami Prasad Maurya, to Varanasi.
Meanwhile, 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.
"A general alert has been sent to all state governments and they have been asked to stay on high alert," said Union Home Secretary G K Pillai.
"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 was injured. So roughly 20-25 people injured," he said.
The blast occurred at around 6:20 p.m. on Tuesday when thousands of devotees and some foreign tourists had assembled at the Dashashwamedh ghat for having darshan of the Ganga Arti ritual.
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.