Pm visits mumbai, calls emergency....
PM VISITS MUMBAI, CALLS EMERGENCY CABINET MEET
New Delhi November 28:
The Prime Minister and Congress president Sonia Gandhi arrived in Mumbai and visited the JJ Hospital where most of the injured have been rushed. in the wake of the presumably the biggest terror attack on India.
The Prime Minister had earlier called an emergency cabinet meeting to tackle the situation. Earlier, the PM held a high level meeting with Leader of Opposition Lal Krishna Advani to discuss the situation. The outcome of the meeting has not been disclosed.
The PM has also cancelled his scheduled election rally in Delhi. He was to address the rally at Dakshinpuri area in south Delhi this afternoon winding up the Congress election campaign in the national capital. Meanwhile, Singh and UPA president Sonia Gandhi also called up Maharashtra Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh to take stock of the situation.
They assured him of all assistance. Deshmukh is reported to have asked the PM of Army assistance. Earlier, indiscriminate firing and co-ordinated blasts in 10 places of South Mumbai left 90 dead and over 200 injured in the nation’s financial capital. All the blasts have taken place in the vicinity of posh hotels in the area, including the Taj and the Trident.
Advani appeals for calm, communal harmony: Senior BJP leader L K Advani on Thursday condemned the terror attacks in Mumbai in the strongest of terms and called on the people to remain calm and maintain communal harmony. Addressing a press conference here said security experts had told him that an operation of this kind “will need a preparation of at least two months”.
Advani will shortly accompany the Prime Minister to Mumbai and take a first hand stock of the situation. “This appears to be a continuation of the 1993 terror attacks,” he said, referring to Mumbai's first terror onslaught in January of that year that followed the razing of the Babri mosque in Ayodhya in December 1992.
Meanwhile commenting on tackling terrorism, he said that this is not the right time to raise such issues. However, he went on to say that Centre and the state government have to answer for such horrific incidents. He also condoled the death of the Mumbai Police Anti-Terror Squad (ATS) chief Hemant Karkare, additional police commissioners Ashok Kamte, Sadanand Date and Mumbai Police 'encounter specialist' Vijay Salaskar, who laid down their lives during last’s night encounter.
Terrorists will be dealt sternly: Sonia: Dubbing the terror strikes in Mumbai as a "barbaric act" to weaken the country, Congress President Sonia Gandhi today said terrorists were "enemies of the country" and would be dealt with sternly. "This is not only a matter of security of the country, but also of its pride. Terrorists are the enemies of the country and we have to deal with them sternly", Gandhi, who is also UPA chairperson, said in a strongly-worded statement.
Hailing as "great patriots" the police officials and personnel who laid down their lives fighting the terrorists, she expressed confidence that the whole nation is behind them. She said the nation shared the grief of the families of the innocent people who fell prey to the terror strikes. Expressing grief and anguish at the terror strikes, she said that they posed a threat to the entire country and "we have to deal with unitedly. I know that the entire nation is one on the issue..."
Antony may visit Mumbai on today: "The Defence Minister is planning to go to Mumbai tomorrow morning, provided the operation ends tonight," Defence Ministry sources told agencies here. Antony also held a meeting with top officers of the Army, Navy, Air Force and Coast Guard here today at the Defence Ministry's war room in South Block, as reports from Mumbai kept pouring in throughout the day.
During the 40-minute meeting attended among others by Navy chief Admiral Sureesh Mehta, IAF chief Air Chief Marshal Fali Homi Major and Army Vice Chief Lt Gen M L Naidu, the Defence Minister was briefed about the operation and the day's developments in the Mumbai terror attacks.