Patna/New Delhi : The Intelligence Bureau had given specific input to Bihar government on the Patna serial blasts. A letter sent recently to the Bihar Police had warned that Narendra Modi could be ‘’targeted’’ during his visit. This alert was specific enough to mention that the IM modules could organize strikes during the Patna visit.
A TV channel has in its possession the letter sent by Vivek Shrivastava, Joint Director of the Intelligence Bureau in Bihar. It states that “Narendra Modi, who is perceived as a leader of Hindus, invokes a fair degree of dissent among a number of radical Muslim groups and may be targeted by them.”
The letter also underscored the “vulnerability” of Modi, given the arrest of the Indian Mujahideen founder, Yasin Bhatkal, and the recent activities of local cells of the terror group.
The Bihar Police, however, claim that the letter did not go into specifics. “Presently there is no threat to the security of the VVIP visiting Patna was the first line of the letter,” said Abhayanand, the Director General of Bihar Police, reading out the note to reporters on Monday evening.
The Bihar Police also claim that they asked for the rally to be delayed by 45 minutes, and that they had informed BJP leaders that they did not have the resources to sanitize every part of the large public park.
The BJP latched onto the IB letter and accused the Nitish Kumar government of security lapses and charged that it was soft on terror due to vote-bank politics.
The opposition party further accused the state government of adopting a “casual and callous” attitude and demanded a high-level probe and a review of security of its prime ministerial candidate.
BJP leader Arub Jaitley, who was present at the Patna rally, attacked the Nitish government and said, ‘’In this environment, are we going to be soft on security because some state governments want to be seen as being soft on terror for obvious reasons”?
Accusing Bihar government of “monumental failure”, he said “this attack, coming in this backdrop, clearly establishes the extent of radicalization which has taken place in the state.” He also said that the Centre needs to rethink on the security drill to be carried out for political rallies ahead of next general elections and redefine its policy.
“This is an attack on 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 government of India should seriously review the security of the Gujarat Chief Minister,” he said. The BJP leader further claimed people were allowed to enter the rally venue without frisking and after the blasts took place, the local police failed to explain the evacuation procedure to the people and BJP leaders who were present on stage. Claiming that a lot of explosives were sneaked into the ground, he said, “If a casualty was further averted, it was purely our good luck that whatever explosives came in the ground did not explode,” he said. He added there could have been “frightening consequences” due to the panic caused by the blasts had local BJP leaders not instilled confidence in the crowds by saying that crackers were being burst.
“The consequences of panic could have been very frightening,” he said.