Mumbai: A day after triple blasts in Mumbai left 17 people dead and at least 131 injured, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Congress president Sonia Gandhi Thursday visited hospitals to meet some of the victims and express solidarity with the residents of the city, which has often been target of terror attacks.
The prime minister said he understood and shared the pain, anguish and anger of Mumbai's residents.
Manmohan Singh and Gandhi arrived here in Mumbai Thursday evening, and drove down to the Saifee Hospital and Sir J. J. Hospital in south Mumbai where many of the injured have been admitted.
They interacted briefly with a few of the victims and expressed condolences to the families of those who lost their near and dear ones in the blasts Wednesday at Zaveri Bazar, Opera House and Dadar West which were triggered within minutes of each other.
'I express my deepest condolences to the families of those who lost their dear ones and I pray for them,' Manmohan Singh said in his brief address outside the Sir J. J. Hospital.
At both places, the Mumbai media were not permitted to cover the event and were kept at a long distance away.
The prime minister assured that the government would do everything in its power to prevent such attacks in the future. He asked Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan and union Home Minister P.Chidambaram to continue to co-ordinate their efforts and resources to relentlessly pursue the perpetrators.
'They must be brought to justice quickly and be subject to the rule of law that they have sought to subvert. I seek the cooperation of all citizens in this effort. We owe this to the grieving families,' he said.
Earlier, the prime minister reviewed the security situation in the state at a meeting at the Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport soon after his arrival.
The meeting was attended by Chavan, some of his cabinet colleagues, senior home and police officials.
Manmohan Singh and Gandhi's visit capped a series visits by senior political leaders to the city a day after the blasts. Chidambaram reached the city Wednesday night while Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader L.K. Advani came here around noon Thursday.
The blasts occured 31 months after 10 Pakistani terrorists went on a killing spree in the city, slaughtering 166 Indians and foreigners Nov 26-29, 2008.
'I cannot find words to condemn the barbaric acts of terror that resulted in the senseless killing and injuring of innocent people in Mumbai yesterday. I understand the shock and outrage of the people of Mumbai,' Manmohan Singh said in a statement shortly after landing here.
He said the need of the hour was to look after the medical and other immediate needs of the families of the victims and survivors.
'I have asked the state government to ensure that all support is provided so that these families can overcome the tragedy and rebuild their lives,' he said.
The prime minister said terrorists had the advantage of surprise and indicated there was no intelligence information about the blasts.
He said the central and the state governments have acted quickly to deal with the situation.
'I assure the people that the government will do everything in its power to prevent such attacks in the future. In the final analysis, it is the unity and strength of the people that will defeat these efforts to divide our people and destroy our civilized way of life,' he said.