Hyderabad blasts: Govt taking terrorism casually, alleges BJP

Feb 23, 2013, 07:36 IST | Agencies

The opposition party termed the blasts as a "massive failure" since prior information was available; urges Home Minister to follow up his words with action and not merely reiterate that the govt is committed to fighting terrorism

The government on Friday said it was committed to fighting terrorism, even as the BJP slammed the centre for the intelligence failure behind the Hyderabad blasts that killed 16 people and injured 117. The blasts, along with hanging of parliament attack convict Afzal Guru, rocked both houses of parliament on the second day of the budget session, leading to several adjournments.

Photos: Hyderabad hit by twin bomb blasts

Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde visits the blast site at Dilsukhnagar in Hyderabad
Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde visits the blast site at Dilsukhnagar in Hyderabad. Pic/AFP

“The government is committed to combat such cowardly terror attack and it shall make all possible efforts to apprehend the perpetrators and masterminds behind the blasts and ensure that they are punished as per the law,” Shinde said in the Lok Sabha, reading from a written statement. He made a similar statement in the Rajya Sabha.

Facing criticism from the BJP in both houses, Shinde pitched for the proposed National Counter-Terrorism Centre (NCTC) apex counter-terror organisation. The proposal has been put on hold after several states protested against its implementation, saying it would encroach on their rights.

The BJP asked him to act and said the government and the opposition need to fight the menace jointly. “Show that you are committed to fight terrorism. Is the centre’s role only to alert the states or help them stop acts of terror?” Leader of Opposition Sushma Swaraj asked in the Lok Sabha after Shinde’s statement that prior alerts had been provided to Andhra Pradesh about such terror attacks.

“If intelligence was available on terror attacks then the liability of the government is more... what were the state and central governments doing,” she asked. The BJP leader said the central government had alerted Bangalore and Mumbai also and wanted to know what steps had been taken to secure the two cities.

Sushma Swaraj sought to link the Hyderabad blasts with the hanging of Afzal Guru and asked why the government took nine years to execute the parliament attack convict. The leader of Opposition also sought to know if the blasts were linked to the inflammatory speeches made recently by the Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (MIM) leaders in Hyderabad.

Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley said that it is “sad the first day of budget session was chosen to give the grim reminder India is very high up on terror radar. The government should ensure that the Hyderabad blasts were the last such incident faced by India.”

Under attack, Shinde told parliament that he visited Hyderabad early in the morning and reviewed the situation with the Andhra Pradesh Governor ESL Narasimhan and Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy, as well as police officers. He also visited the injured in hospitals. “Preliminary investigations reveal that the IEDs were placed on bicycles causing explosion at both the places,” he said about investigations.

Reward announced for information about suspects
Police yesterday announced a handsome reward for anybody providing information about the suspects seen in Dilsukhnagar before the twin blasts on Thursday evening. Cyberabad police Commissioner D Tirumala Rao said, “If you have seen a youth carrying something and parking a scooter or a cycle under suspicious circumstances, provide the information to police,” he said. He promised that police would keep the identity of the person giving information a secret. “Handsome reward will be given. It may be Rs 5 lakh, Rs 10 lakh or even Rs 20 lakh depending on the investigations,” he added.

BJP blames Pakistan for terror attacks
Blaming Pakistan for the terror attacks in Hyderabad, the BJP asked the govt to scale down relations with Pakistan. “There are no two opinions that all terrorist activities are sponsored by Pakistan and ISI. In such a situation, there is no meaning of continuing confidence building process. For the time being, the govt should take a decision to stop confidence building,” said Rajnath Singh.

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