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BJP calls for terror leash

Chennai, Aug. 25: The message from the Mumbai blasts was the need for a “more stringent” law against terrorism, BJP president M. Venkaiah Naidu said here tonight.

“A (tougher) Pota is the need of the hour and the BJP is for it,” Naidu told a gathering near the famous Karaneeshwarar temple in south Chennai.

He said the blasts were the “handiwork” of fundamentalists and anti-national forces working at the behest of Pakistan’s ISI to “destabilise and weaken India”.

Calling for greater vigilance among all sections, Naidu made an impassioned plea to people to “show restraint and not get provoked by the communal forces”.

The BJP chief charged that “pseudo-secular forces”, like those opposing the ban on Simi, Al-Umma and other “jihadi forces”, were “unintendedly” aiding these terrorist forces.

He ticked off the western countries for not doing enough to stop cross-border terrorism and slammed Pakistan for joining the fight against terror on its western frontier, but “encouraging” terrorism on its eastern border with India.

Standing on the home turf of Jayalalithaa, who has sent MDMK leader Vaiko to jail under the anti-terror law, Naidu accepted that there had been cases of “political misuse” of the law, but argued that it was no reason to give it up. There was a need for safeguards, he said.

Sonia visit

Sonia Gandhi condemned the blasts, saying they were planned and executed by anti-national forces. She urged government agencies to counter the forces behind the act without sparing any effort.

The Congress chief will visit Mumbai tomorrow to console the families of the victims. “Sonia Gandhi will be visiting Mumbai tomorrow,” party general secretary Ambika Soni said tonight.

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