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'Blasts an attempt to derail Indo-Pak ties'

Source: PTI
February 19, 2007 11:37 IST
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Suspecting sabotage, Railway Minister Lalu Prasad on Monday said the train tragedy was an attempt to destabilise relations between India and Pakistan, and asserted that those behind it will be punished.

"The intentions are very clear. It is an attempt to stop relations improving between the two countries," he told media persons in Patna before rushing to Deewana (Panipat), about 80 km from Delhi.

The ghastly tragedy comes on the eve of talks between Indian Foreign Minister Pranab Mukherjee and his Pakistani counterpart Khurshid Mahmood Kasuri in New Delhi.

Asked whether the ISI was behind the blast, the Railway minister said, "Whoever is behind it, will be caught and punished."

"Explosions were heard by the Railway staff posted at the station. Two suitcases full of explosives have been found. This itself confirms that sabotage is the cause of the tragedy," he observed.

Asked if there was prior information about the possibility of such a blast, the Railway minister said, "We had no information in this regard."

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