No amount of explanation will suffice, but we did everything we could to prevent any act of terrorism, says Hyderabad Police Commissioner Anurag Sharma. Vicky Nanjappa reports
Hyderabad Police Commissioner Anurag Sharma on Saturday said that none of the alerts sent to them about a possible terrorist attack was taken lightly.
“When we got our first alert in November 2012, a team of the Hyderabad police went to New Delhi and interrogated members of the Indian Mujahideen arrested by the Delhi police,” said Sharma.
“We conducted specific checks based on the information and despite being short-staffed we conducted all the requisite checks,” he added.
The Hyderabad police commissioner said that bomb disposal squads were deployed in vulnerable areas of the city and 2,125 checks were conducted. “We were not only dealing with terror threats but also various other incidents that were taking place in Hyderabad, especially in the old city,” said Sharma.
“In Dilsukhnagar, we conducted anti-sabotage checks at least 70 times since November 15 -- the date the first alert came to us. Even the areas of Begum Bazaar and Abids were checked over 135 times,” the police commissioner said.
“We attended to nine hoax bomb threats and our police sanitised various areas and also patrolled sensitive zones in the city. However, no amount of explanation can suffice and negate what occurred a day back in Dilsukhnagar,” said Sharma.
No arrests so far
The police commissioner said that they were yet to make any arrests in the blasts case. “We are examining the evidence and do not want to act in haste. However, I assure that the culprits will be brought to book,” said Sharma.
“We have found that ammonium nitrate and IEDs with timers were used in the bomb. I cannot reveal anymore details about the investigation at the moment,” he said.
Hyderabad Police Commissioner Anurag Sharma refused to comment when asked if he too could have been a target in the attack. The commissioner was present at the Sai temple in Dilsukhnagar and it is said that the original plan of the terrorist was to attack the temple. The terrorists changed their plan at the last minute due to extensive police presence near the temple.
The commissioner also informed that CCTV cameras at the blast site were functional. “The CCTVs were installed for traffic management. In all the police had installed 303 cameras in the city, but only 265 are functioning. Media reports that the cables of the CCTVs were cut is fiction,” the police commissioner said. “All the CCTVs at Dilsukhnagar were functional till 8.30 pm that night,” he added.
The police commissioner said that the blast case had been handed over to the Special Investigating Team of the Hyderabad police and six teams had been formed to crack the case.
“We also met with the chief minister and the home minister who have approved a reward of Rs 10 lakh for persons providing information on the culprits. We have increased the number of bomb disposal squads from 16 to 30 and have also increased the number of police personnel and also launched an awareness campaign in the wake of this incident,” Sharma said.