The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Laloo on Gujarat ice

New Delhi, April 23: Neither stones nor ice slabs. Only a pouch of water or it could be the air-conditioning, if you go by the Narendra Modi government's version.

Gujarat governor Nawal Kishore Sharma and the Modi government today sent their reports on the alleged attack on railway minister Laloo Prasad Yadav when he visited a hospital in Vadodara after the Sabarmati Express accident on Thursday.

The home ministry said the reports are being examined but an official who saw the two documents suggested that both were more or less identical. 'There may be some minor variations but broadly, the two reports are on similar lines,' the official said.

Unconfirmed reports said Sharma was not fully satisfied with the version given by the government and had tried to independently find out what may have happened at the hospital. Home ministry officials are keeping the Modi government's report also under wraps but Gujarat police made no secret of their findings.

Vadodara police commissioner Deepak Swaroop told The Telegraph that nothing was found to suggest that the windshield of Laloo Prasad's car was damaged at the hospital as claimed by the railway minister.

Swaroop said he got all the media footage ' of local as well as national television channels ' scanned but not one of them showed the glass broken when Laloo Prasad left the hospital.

Swaroop contested reports that suggested ice ' cubes, blocks or slabs ' was thrown. But he said 'someone threw a pouch of water into the air which fell near the minister'.

The police officer is looking at three possibilities. First, someone did throw a stone. Second, the windshield of the car already had a crack and it broke during the jostling. Third, the windshield could have had a bubble.

Swaroop said some people had spoken of the possibility of the windshield with a bubble breaking if the air-conditioner was very effective and it was cold inside the car.

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