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Lalu's car attacked

By Sheela Bhatt in New Delhi
Last updated on: April 21, 2005 17:21 IST
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Railway Minister Lalu Prasad Yadav, whose car was pelted with stones when he went visiting people injured in the Sabarmati Express crash early Thursday morning, blamed the attack on Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi.

At least 17 people were killed and over 80 injured when the Ahmedabad-bound Sabarmati Express train rammed into a stationary goods train in Samlaya, about 30 km from Vadodara.

Also see: 17 dead in train collision

Lalu's car was attacked when he arrived at the SSG hospital in Vadodara to meet the injured.

A fuming Lalu told journalists at the Vadodara airport that his car was attacked by Bajrang Dal activists acting at Modi's behest. "It was a murderous attack. Nobody is safe in Gujarat. I will not forgive him [Modi]," he said.

Lalu said he will report the attack to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

The railway minister said the Gujarat government is rattled the findings of the Banerjee Committee that looked into the Godhra train fire. "This is the reason they attacked me," he said.

Also see: Administration responded quickly -- Survivors

Calling the Gujarat police force communal, Lalu said a special inspector general of Baroda range "is doing wrong things [in investigating the Godhra train accident] and he needs to be suspended."

However, Gujarat Home Minister Amit Shah dismissed the charge and said the crowd at the hospital got angry due to "certain remarks" made by Lalu.

He also said Lalu was provided with full security.

Claiming that there was no law and order in the state, Lalu demanded sacking of the Modi government and imposition of the President's rule.


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Sheela Bhatt in New Delhi