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No damage to Ramlala idol: govt

By Onkar Singh in New Delhi
July 08, 2005 09:54 IST
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The Centre has denied that there has been any damage to the idol of Ramlala during the terrorists strike at Ayodhya on Tuesday. Paramilitary forces had gunned down all the terrorists during exchange of heavy firing with them.

"Some vested interests have been spreading rumours about the extent of damage that has been caused during the terrorist attack. Let me put in categorical terms that there was no damage whatsoever in the disputed complex. The idol of Ramlala is unharmed. As far as we are concerned, former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Bharatiya Janata Party president Lal Kishenchand Advani can go there and satisfy themselves about the facts," Sri Prakash Jaiswal, minister of state for home affairs, told on Friday.

He refused to say anything about the identity of the attackers.

"The investigations are currently going on and we would be able to say anything only after we have completed our job," he said.

He denied that there was any security lapse and said that inputs of this nature had been received from time to time.

"We had received inputs in May and June that the terrorists could target the religious places and hence the security in all the religious places had been beefed up," he said. Soon after the attack Jaiswal had admitted there was an intelligence failure.

Advani would be going to Ayodhya on Friday to have a look at the temple complex and get first hand information from the district administration about the terror attack.

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Onkar Singh in New Delhi