Mumbai: Pune Blast - Security Beefed Up in State

Mumbai, Feb 14 (IANS) Maharashtra Chief Minister Ashok Chavan said late Saturday that security in Mumbai and other parts of the state had been tightened in the wake of the Pune terror attack in which nine people died.

The leaves of all policemen across the state have been cancelled following the attack, in which 32 people were injured.

"The number of fatalities is likely to go up," said a grim chief minister after chairing a meeting of top officials late Saturday.

"Security has been tightened at all important installations, including the airport, railway stations and other places in Mumbai," said Chavan as he emerged from the meeting.

"Security has been tightened at all the locations which were surveyed by Lashkar-e-Taiba operative David Headley last year in Mumbai, Pune and other places," he added.

Referring to a central alert in October 2009 warning of a possible terror strike in Pune, Chavan said that there was complete co-ordination between the state and central security apparatus.

But he declined to comment on the possibility of involvement of known terror groups as being responsible for the blast.

"Until I get the feedback from the investigators at the site, I would not like to comment on this as it has major ramifications," Chavan said.

Pune Police Commissioner Satyapal Singh confirmed late Saturday night that nine people, including five women, perished in the blast.

At team of the Force One commando left from Mumbai Saturday to assist the Mumbai and Pune Anti-Terrorist Squads, the NIA, the CBI and the NSG teams in the investigations.

A team of experts from the Pune cantonment of the Southern Army Command has also reached the site of the blast, the first major terror blast in the country after Nov 26, 2008 Mumbai terror attacks.

Chavan also announced compensation of Rs.100,000 for the next of kin of each of the deceased and Rs.50,000 for the injured.

Earlier Deputy Chief Minister Chhagan Bhujbal admitted that though alerts have been regularly received, these did not specify the time or location of the possible terror attacks.

Besides Maharashtra the central government has issued an advisory to all states to tighten security after the blast.

In Mumbai, security was tightened at the Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport, the Mumbai Port, the BARC, BSE, important railways terminals and stations, luxury hotels, important government buildings, VVIP areas of south Mumbai and the beaches dotting the city.

Elsewhere in Maharashtra, security has been beefed up at the Sai Baba Temple in Shirdi, the Pandharpur Temple and other major places of historical, religious and tourism significance.


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Title: Mumbai: Pune Blast - Security Beefed Up in State

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