Statement released by the BJP's leader of opposition in the Rajya Sabha:
Yesterday on Oct. 27, 2013, a mass “Hunkar” Rally was organized in Patna by the BJP. The rally was addressed by Shri Raj Nath Singh, President (BJP), Shri Narender Modi, Chief Minister of Gujarat and BJP nominee for Prime Ministership in the 2014 General Elections and myself. Besides a large number of leaders of the Bihar BJP addressed the rally. The rally was a huge success. It was defining moment both for the poll prospects for the BJP in Bihar and for the run up to the 2014 General Elections. Never has a rally of this size and enthusiasm being witnessed in Patna ever before at the historic Gandhi Maidan. The huge success of the rally clearly indicates that the people of Bihar as also the cadres of the BJP have been fully galvanized in order to bring about a change of Govt. both at Centre and at Patna.
What happened in Patna inside and around the rally in terms of bomb blasts organized allegedly by the Indian Mujahideen is a matter of deep concern. These blasts and attacks are condemnable. We express our condolences to the families of those innocents who have lost their lives or have been injured in these blasts. These blasts are a grim reminder of the vulnerability of the security of both senior leaders and political events being organized in the run up to the elections.
The Chief Minister of Bihar and the police officials have said that there was no intelligence alert with regard to this terrorist attack. This does not appear to be factually correct. A general alert was sounded by the Intelligence Bureau on Oct. 1st, 2013 in a letter to various states including the Director General of Police of Bihar with regard to the Indian Mujahideen planning to organize strikes in different cities. A specific alert was sent to the Bihar police by the Central Intelligence Bureau on 23rd Oct. 2013 with regard to the rally to be addressed by Shri Narender Modi in Patna. The letter number of this alert was v-111/PA/2013 (3). This alert was specific enough to mention that the IM modules could organize strikes during Shri Narender Modi’s Patna visit. A reference to the arrest of Bhatkal, an information emanating from another source was also mentioned.
Earlier in the morning, just as rally began the news of a blast in the toilet of the Patna railway station was broadcast. Surely this could not be passed off as one of the events since the venue, time and the date have already been chosen. A very large number of participants in the rally were arriving in the morning by trains. A blast at the railway station was aimed to spread panic in the whole city.
I personally reached the venue of the rally behind the stage at 12.10 pm. Two officers of the Gujarat police took me aside and told me that it was not safe to continue the rally in view of the inadequate security measures which have been deployed even though there were a large number of policemen and home guards around the venue of the rally. I was told by these two officers that Advance Security Liaison (ASL) which is necessary when a Chief Minister of another state is visiting had not been adequately carried out. There were no anti-sabotage checks or a full dress rehearsal undertaken in the required manner. Frisking of participants who came to attend the rally at various entry points have not been substantially undertaken. These two officers further informed me that blasts around and inside of the venue of the rally had already taken place and it was not safe for the Chief Minister of Gujarat to leave the airport and reach the rally. In the meanwhile, the President (BJP) Shri Raj Nath Singh also arrived. While we were discussing this, another major blast took place inside the rally. This resulted in a large number of participants getting scared and running for shelter. Some of them even left the venue of the rally. I requested some junior police officers of the Bihar police that I would like to discuss the issue with the senior officer of the Bihar police present at the site and take their advice. A young lady police officer came up to discuss the issue with me. I asked her whether to continue the rally is safe or not. I was worried that if BJP leaders and particularly Shri Narender Modi did not address the rally the enthusiastic crowd would surge to the dais. Some would panic because of the security threat and leading to stampede which could result in many fatalities. I asked the lady officer that if there was any evacuation plan ready. She replied that she would speak to her senior, the SSP. Thereafter, no police officer of Bihar contacted us or spoke to us. We were thus left below the stage to decide the future course of action on our own. Meanwhile, Shri Narender Modi disregarding security advice left the airport for the venue of the rally. We decided that to discontinue the rally would encourage the terrorists and would definitely result in a riot, panic and stampede. We, therefore, decided to take a conscious risk of going to the dais and continue the rally. We decided that we would shorten the time of the rally in case any untoward incident further took place. The police officers from Gujarat started preparing the evacuation plan behind the stage for the leaders. In order to avoid the generation of any panic, a responsible BJP state leader appealed to the crowd not to blast any cracker in order to give confidence level to the crowd. Just as we climbed down the dais, some of those who had left the rally venue re-filled the ground again and we were back to addressing a jam-packed Maidan. The rest we had left to our luck and good fortune that no further blasts took place. Indeed some blast explosives have been left behind which did not explode. I was informed by the Gujarat police officers that the arrest of one of the accused could have scared the others to run away which prevented any further damage.
I have highlighted my experience yesterday in detail in order to emphasize the point that India cannot afford to be either soft on terror or soft on security. A policy against terror and the need for the security cannot be relatable to the policy of the vote bank politics of a given Government. There have been reports in the media that when the Central Intelligence and security agencies intercepted and arrested Yasin Bhatkal, the Bihar police for obvious political reasons or reluctance to receive his custody. The NIA had to be flown to Raksol in order to take his custody. An indiscreet media brief by an official in Delhi had led to some targets of investigation disappearing from the net of the investigators. Has this blast was planned by some of those who had disappeared? At several rallies addresses by Shri Narender Modi, frisking of crowd and regulation of entry points was necessary. The very fact that explosives, detonators and timers had entered the venue of the rally establishes that these mandatory checks were not done. Was the entire ground sanitized for anti-sabotage check? When the Gujarat police offices were advising us to abandon the rally rather than go to the dais, their concern primarily was that these had not been done. Have the state police organization in Bihar and else where made themselves technically compliant to deal with the kind of tactics and machinery employed by terrorist organizations ? This issue is one of national concern. Govt. of Bihar cannot draw satisfaction from the fact that it had undertaken all the measures required to provide security. Facts speak themselves. The very fact that such large-scale infiltration of terrorists and explosives have taken place is an evidence of the fact that the required preparations were not done. This attack coming in this backdrop clearly establishes the extent of radicalization which took place in the state.
I compliment the state leaders of the BJP and the lacks of people who have come to attend the rally for displaying exemplary bravery in averting a major accident. The consequences of panic would have been very frightened.
This is an attack on Shri Narender Modi and other senior BJP leaders. It was intended to intimidate our party which has vowed with greater determination to fight these tendencies. The ministry of home affairs and the govt. of India should seriously review the security of Shri Narender Modi who has been travelling to various parts of the country and ensure that no such incident is repeated in future. The party demands that there should be a high-level inquiry which should dispassionately look into the lapses which took place which have resulted in this monumental failure.
It seems Jaitley has been given the task of issuing bombastic and pretentious statements. Why does Outlook give publicity to such campaign material?
>> Why does Outlook give publicity to such campaign material?
To allow Paki agents like yourself to express your hate.
Whoever wrote this statement does not seem to care much about spelling name right even of the BJP's PM candidate - in the usual sloppy style that seems to be deeply embedded in most Indian things.
It is Narendra, not Narender!
And this is an official statement!
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