UP govt counters Chidambaram, says there was no police laxity

Countering Home Minister P Chidambarm`s remarks on an advisory issued to it, Uttar Pradesh government on Wednesday said there was no specific actionable intelligence from the Centre about possible terrorist activity in the city.

Last Updated: Dec 08, 2010, 18:59 PM IST

Lucknow: Countering Home Minister P
Chidambarm`s remarks on an advisory issued to it, Uttar
Pradesh government on Wednesday said there was no specific actionable
intelligence from the Centre about possible terrorist activity
in the city and that there was no laxity on its part.

"Holding state responsible is not justified," state
cabinet secretary Shashank Shekhar Singh told reporters here.
He said, "There was no specific actionable
intelligence input regarding a terrorist act in Varanasi. An
alert was received on February 25 this year, but that was upto
Dusshera festival (in October) only.

"Expecting that input to be specific and actionable
even after Dusshera festival is not justified..... Stating
that the state was alerted in advance is far from reality,"
Singh said.

He said that two general alerts were also issued
regarding anniversaries of 26/11 Mumbai attacks and demolition
of Babri Masjid on December 6.

"Those alerts were general in nature to maintain vigil
on these two days," he said.

The cabinet secretary said that there was no laxity on
the part of the local police.

"As a routine exercise, ghats where Ganga `arti` is
held is sanitised at 5 PM every day and this exercise was
carried out yesterday as well. Thus, there was no laxity
yesterday," he said.

Accusing the Centre of lacking willpower required to
tackle terrorism, the cabinet secretary said that Chief
Minister Mayawati was of the clear view that leaving the
issued to the state was not justified.
Asking the Centre to rise above party politics, he
said Mayawati has written a letter to Prime Minister Manmohan
Singh demanding adequate security at important religious and
tourist places in the state.

"The Chief Minister has requested the Prime Minister
to provide 125 companies (12,500 personnel) of central forces
so that a lasting arrangement could be made for security," he
said.

Singh said that the benefit of any input could be
derived only when its specific and actionable. He demanded
that specific intelligence inputs be provided to the state and
the Centre should not wash its hands off by only issuing
advisories.

The cabinet secretary said that there was no specific
information to the state.

He said that in Varanasi one company of central forces
had been provided but that was limited to Kashi Vishwanath
Temple only.

"The Chief Minister is of the clear view that
terrorism is a national problem and stringent action should be
taken to tackle this. She is of the view that until and unless
borders are secure it will not be possible to check acts of
terrorism," he said, adding the forces should be provided
modern weapons and gadgets to deal with the terrorists.

PTI