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Intelligence failure led to serial blasts: PM

By Syed Firdaus Ashraf in Brazil
September 12, 2006 04:38 IST
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Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Tuesday admitted that there was an intelligence failure in the country with regard to serial blasts occurring in different parts of the country and that there was a need for improving intelligence gathering.

"We have to strengthen our intelligence set up. There is a problem. I do not deny it," Dr Singh told media persons on board his flight to Brazil via Frankfurt.

When asked why the government was unable to prevent terror strikes in the country, the prime minister said, "We are doing the best we can. There is scope of improvement, especially at the grass root level and we have to work harder."  

"I called the chief ministers' meeting to discuss what needs to be done to strengthen our intelligence system to promote greater co-ordination between states and between center and states. All these things, I think require a structured approach," he said.

Dr Singh, who halted for a day at Frankfurt, is visiting Brazil at the invitation of President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva.

The bilateral visit to Brazil on September 12 will be followed by the India-Brazil- South Africa (IBSA) summit where President Mbeki of South Africa will also be participating.

When asked on what he felt about allegations from some quarters that right-wing parties like Bajrang Dal could be responsible for Malegaon blast and whether he will rule out that option, Dr Singh said, "It would be inappropriate to rule out or rule in on anything. There should be fair investigation without any pre conceived notion and we must only bring out the truth through investigation."

Dr Singh had on Sunday condemned the Malegaon blasts, terming it a shameful act. He had also stated that the intelligence agencies had yet to get at the bottom of it.

Dr Singh will spend three days in Brazil and then leave for Havana for Non Aligned Movement summit.

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Syed Firdaus Ashraf in Brazil