The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Gujarat youth on terror path

Ahmedabad, Sept. 9: The Gujarat government has confirmed that youths from the state were training to become terrorists.

Home minister Amit Shah today told the Assembly the government had information that youths were preparing for largescale terror strikes, including assassination of top political leaders. This “disturbing information’’ was divulged by people associated with terrorist outfits, who were arrested recently by Gujarat police, he said.

The confirmation comes about a week after the Gujarat Revenge Force, an outfit set up to avenge the post-Godhra riots, was held responsible for the twin blasts in Mumbai.

Chief minister Narendra Modi and L.K. Advani have so far denied any link between the Gujarat riots and terrorist strikes. Before the role of the Gujarat Revenge Force in the blasts was exposed, they had dismissed the possibility of any link with the post-Godhra riots.

Today, Shah said in view of the heightened threat perception, security had been beefed up in all sensitive areas and religious places. Additional forces have been deployed and mobile patrolling intensified. But he refused to share information about a person arrested by Jammu and Kashmir police in connection with terrorist activities. The case was sensitive and investigation was on, he said.

Shah reacted strongly to leader of Opposition Amarsinh Chaudhary’s query “whether the police were being given any special training to nab only guilty persons involved in criminal activity”.

“I fail to understand the very logic behind the question. The question is simply absurd,” he said. Claiming that in the eight months since the Modi government came to power, all major terrorist cases have been cracked and people responsible put behind bars, Shah said: “I do not want to take away the power from the police to pick up suspects for questioning.”

Replying to a query by BJP MLA Mayaben Kodnani on the Akshardham attack, Shah said three persons booked under the anti-terror law, who were trustees of a hospital run by a trust called the Human Welfare Society in Dariyapur, had provided logistical support to the two who stormed the temple.

Apparently inspired by party chief Sonia Gandhi, the Congress served a no-confidence motion against the government that enjoys a brute majority with 128 MLAs in the 182-member Assembly.

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