New Delhi/Hyderabad: Speaking in the Rajya Sabha a day after two blasts killed 16 people in Hyderabad, Union Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde said that the state governments sometimes take intelligence inputs in a lighter vein. He also said that while the government was seriously working towards tackling terrorism in the country, Opposition's support was crucial in controlling the menace.
Explaining why he didn't reach Hyderabad soon after the blasts took place, Shinde said it was for the security reasons that he decided not to leave immediately. "If VIPs go there (blast sites) then police have to concentrate on securing them which is not right. VIPs should not be visiting the spot of such incidents, police should be given freedom to carry out investigation and gather evidences," he said in Parliament.
The Home Minister said that the government was ready to to go ahead with the creation of proposed apex counter-terror organisation - National Counter Terrorism Centre - but many state governments had opposed the proposal. "We are still ready to go ahead with the NCTC with amendments so that states' rights are not ingressed, but we need to sit down and discuss on NCTC," he said.
Meanwhile, sources on Friday said that Hyderabad was alerted specifically by the Intelligence Bureau and the Union Home Minister about possible terror strikes. A total of three advisories were issued for Hyderabad - two by the Intelligence Bureau and one by the Home Ministry. A general alert to all state police chiefs was also sent last week about impending Indian Mujahideen/ Lashkar-e-Toiba activities.
The alert was repeated to Hyderabad, Bangalore, Hubli, Coimbatore on February 20 and the police forces of the cities had been directed to be on alert about a possible terror strike, sources add. Union Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde, who visited the blast site in Hyderabad's Dilsukh Nagar on Friday morning, said, "A general alert had been sounded for all the states, for the whole country, and not a specific area."
Meanwile, the FIR in connection with the twin blasts has been filed. Investigators are waiting for forensic evidence and preliminary investigation suggest that ammonia and timer devices were used to carry out the blasts. National Investigation Agency (NIA) and elite anti-terror commando force Octopus (Organisation For Counter Terrorist Operations) teams are at the blast sites and trying to get hold of all evidence.
Initial probe suggest the modus operandi matches that of the Indian Mujahideen. A Delhi Police special cell team is headed to Hyderabad with information from suspected Indian Mujahideen operative Maqbool who was arrested in October 2012.
The Union Home Ministry has sent five companies of Rapid Action Force (RAF) and Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) have been sent to Hyderabad to assist the state police maintain law and order.
Two powerful near simultaneous blasts had ripped through a crowded area close to a cluster of bus stands in Dilsukhnagar area on Thursday. The blasts triggered by Improvised Explosive Devices IED) tied to two bicycles took place at two sites 100 metres apart outside a roadside eatery near Konark and Venkatadiri theatres in the area located on the Hyderabad-Vijaywada national highway in Cyberabad police limits.
DGP Reddy had said it was "definitely the handiwork of a terrorist network" and IEDs were used in the attack. The Union Home Secretary had said the near two simultaneous very powerful blasts indicate that it was a "terror attack".
The Dilsukh Nagar area is thickly populated and traffic jams are routine in the evenings with officegoers and students rushing home. Large numbers of people wait at the numerous bus shelters, eateries and shops in the area.