|Patna senior superintendent of police Manu Maharaj and Union home secretary Anil Goswami (left) at Gandhi Maidan on Tuesday. Picture by Deepak Kumar
Union home secretary Anil Goswami took stock of the law and order situation in Bihar on Tuesday amid reports of recovery of some more live bombs from Gandhi Maidan in Patna.
The Maidan, the venue of BJP’s Hunkar Rally, witnessed a string of explosions hours before Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi was scheduled to address the crowd on Sunday.
Goswami arrived from New Delhi by a chartered flight and held a brief meeting with home department principal secretary Amir Subhani and director-general of police Abhayanand on the airport premises.
Later, he visited Gandhi Maidan and the spots where the bombs had exploded on the rally day. National Security Guard (NSG) personnel defused a live bomb, which was recovered early morning, a few minutes before the visit of the home secretary.
Goswami, accompanied by the director-general of National Investigation Agency (NIA), Sharad Kumar, also visited the public lavatory at Patna Junction, where two persons were injured while fixing bombs on Sunday.
He later met the victims of the serial explosions at Patna Medical College and Hospital and inquired about the treatment being provided to them. Goswami later held a high-level meeting with the senior officers of the state government at the Secretariat and took stock of the law and order situation in Bihar.
Sources said he was harsh at the meeting and expressed displeasure over the second incident of serial blasts in the state within a span of just four months. Bodhgaya, around 115km south of Patna, had witnessed similar blasts on July 7.
Goswami later told reporters that the Centre would extend all help to the Bihar government in dealing with the terror activities in the state. “The Centre would provide all support to the state government in making the anti-terrorist squad operational in Bihar,” he added.
The Union home secretary said the squad in Bihar has been created but personnel have not yet been posted.
“The selection of the personnel is underway. The Centre is ready to provide technical support such as imparting professional training to the personnel of the squad,” he said. He added that the state police and the NIA were jointly probing the serial explosions in Patna.
“The investigation is progressing in the right direction and I hope the conspirators as well as the perpetrators of the crime would be put behind the bars soon,” he said, adding that the investigating agency has got some vital leads in the case after the arrest of two persons from Patna soon after the incident.
Referring to the allegation of the state bomb disposal squad tampering with evidence by defusing explosives before the arrival of a joint team of the NIA and the NSG, the Union home secretary said the team was sent to Bihar from Delhi for post-blast investigation.
He clarified that NSG personnel, who are experts in dealing with blasts, visit all explosion sites across the country and collect evidence.
“The evidence is stored by the agency and used in ascertaining the make of the explosives used by the terror outfits or the change in their modus operandi to spread terror in different parts of the country,” he said.
The data collected from the blast sites have been stored for analysis by explosive experts.
Goswami, however, parried questions about intelligence inputs sent to the Bihar government on possible terror attack on the BJP rally in Patna.