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VIPs flock to Naidu home

Hyderabad, Oct. 3: Prominent VIPs have been flocking to House 1310 on Road 65 at Jubilee Hills here to enquire about . Chandrababu Naidu, who survived an assassination attempt near Tirupati on Wednesday.

The People’s War Group had planted six claymore (a type of anti-personnel) mines in flowerbeds along the route to be taken by the Andhra Pradesh chief minister to the temple. Naidu had what he termed “a providential escape”, suffering only minor injuries.

President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam and deputy Prime Minister L.K. Advani were among the high-profile visitors to drop in on Naidu today.

The President broke with protocol and interrupted his busy schedule to visit the chief minister, who he said, was endowed with “true leadership qualities”.

Kalam was meant to inaugurate a school, but instead rushed to meet Naidu. “During the 10-minute meeting I had with the chief minister, he spoke only about what he needs to do for the state and the people,” the President said.

“Inspite of physical pain, his mind is alert and yearning to serve the people,” Kalam said. The President lauded Naidu’s courage, conviction and commitment to work, saying: “I pray for his speedy recovery.”

Advani was among the first to call on the chief minister. He spent 15 minutes meeting Telugu Desam leaders and discussed security lapses before flying back to Delhi.

The deputy Prime Minister said there should be a two-pronged strategy to take on the Naxalites, with socio-economic measures accompanying a crackdown on left-wing violence.

Leading film stars, prominent industrialists, politicians and sportsmen called on Naidu.

The chief minister’s office said it had received “thousands of faxes, e-mails and telephone calls” wishing Naidu a speedy recovery.

The flood of enquiries compelled the chief minister to appear before the media in the afternoon and thank the people for their concern.

“It is a rebirth for me and I thank the almighty for giving me another opportunity to serve the people…,” he said.

State security adviser S. Subramaniam, a former director of the National Security Guard, has been asked to probe the lapses that led to the attack.

He met eyewitnesses and policemen at Tirupati and is likely to submit his report within three days.

Home minister T. Devender Goud said D.T. Naik, additional director-general of police, has been asked to conduct criminal investigations into the blast. A special investigation team has been set up under him to probe the blast, the Naxalites’ modus operandi and the kind of mines used.

The Andhra government has also appointed Prakash Singh, a former Uttar Pradesh director-general of police, commissioner of inquiry to investigate the attack.

The commission is expected to report within two months on the security lapses and suggest what must be done to curb such attacks.

Naveen Chand, Chittoor superintendent of police, and Ramanayya, chief of the bomb squad, have been suspended for their lapses.

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