Terror returns

Terror returns

The two bomb blasts in Hyderabad on Thursday which killed 16 people and injured a number of others are again a reminder of the continuing reality of terror. It had all the signatures of a typical terrorist action in the choice of time and place.

Hyderabad has been a favourite target, this being the sixth attack in the city in the last 10 years, and the bombs were planted in a crowded locality and at a busy time of the day so that they could create maximum damage and panic. The modus operandi of leaving the explosive devices on a scooter or a bicycle is also familiar. The design and planning behind the attack are clear and it is only fortuitous that the casualties were not as high as in some earlier cases of bomb blasts in the city.

The blasts again expose the government’s claims that it has taken comprehensive steps to contain terror in the country. The Union home minister, Sushilkumar Shinde, known for irresponsible statements on the subject, has even claimed that there was intelligence information about impending attacks and that  states had been alerted on this. The claim does not make sense if the information is too vague for action and cannot be used for preventive measures.

There are a number of intelligence and anti-terror organisations in the country, apart from the police forces, and they are unable to ensure that the lives and property of ordinary people are safe and secure against threats. In fact the investigations, after the attacks take place, are also not effective and efficient, as it has been seen in many past cases. So the prime minister’s promise that those behind the dastardly attack in Hyderabad will not go unpunished also sounds hollow.

Fingers are pointed at organisations in Pakistan which had vowed to take revenge after the hanging of Afzal Guru and it is speculated that a sleeper terrorist cell might have been used for Thursday’s attack. It is too early to come to any conclusion, but even if the suspicions are correct, the governments at the Central and state levels can not escape the responsibility of countering the terrorist plans. Hyderabad may have been chosen for the attack with the intention of creating communal disturbances also. It must be ensured by the government, political parties and other organisations that there is no undesirable reaction to the attack in the city.

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