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'Hyderabad blast could be suicide bomb'
Syed Amin Jafri in Hyderabad | October 13, 2005 16:06 IST
Last Updated: October 13, 2005 18:20 IST
Hyderabad City Police launched full-fledged investigations into last night's blast at the Task Force office at the high-security Begumpet area, in which two persons, including a home guard, were killed.
Though the top police officers are tight-lipped on the issue, sources claim that the needle of suspicion points to the involvement of a religious fundamentalist outfit sponsored by Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence and this could turn out to be the first incident of suicide bombing in the state.
At the moment, the police also do not rule out the hand of the Maoists.
The forensic team and bomb squad inspected the blast site and picked up clues. Their preliminary investigations reveal that a high explosive was used.
It could be gelatin or RDX. The stranger who had come to the office minutes before the blast could have brought the explosives. Whether the explosives exploded accidentally or the blast was triggered is yet to be conclusively established, since the blast took place at a time when the office complex was empty, barring the presence of a home guard and sentry on duty.
The 45-year-old home guard A Satyanarayana took the full impact of the blast. He was standing near the Additional Deputy Commissioner of Police K V Venkat Reddy's office room. Sentry Venkat Rao, who was standing near the compound wall, sustained shrapnel injuries.
Such was the impact of the blast that that the stranger had his torso ripped off. The body was blown into pieces and the head was severed. The head and body pieces were found near the bathroom of the Additional DCP's office room. This led the police to believe that the stranger was carrying a backpack.
The building was damaged and its roof came off. The police felt that a powerful explosive was used as the glass panes of nearby shops were broken and thunderous noise was heard even at a distance.
The police top-brass were shocked since the targeted Task Force office is located in the high-security Begumpet area. Chief Minister Dr Y S Rajasekhar Reddy's official residence and camp office, Special Intelligence Bureau and Greyhounds (elite anti-Naxalite commando force) offices, three state guest houses and Kundanbagh Ministers' Bungalows complex are located just a stone's throwaway from the Task Force office.
It is another coincidence that the blast occurred a couple of days after the US Embassy in New Delhi warned American citizens of a "possible threat" of terrorist attacks, including suicide car bombings, against US interests in India, particularly in Hyderabad, New Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata in the 'near future'.
"The threat is reasonably serious to alert people," the US Embassy said, warning that the facilities associated with US or locations where US citizens and other foreigners congregate or visit could be targeted.
Hyderabad has 700 companies, mostly software companies, in which the US has direct or indirect stake. The list includes MNCs such as Microsoft, GE, Oracle, Google, Dell, Deloitte etc. These units are spread over the twin cities and the outskirts, including Uppal and the Hitec City at Madhapur.
Hyderabad and Cyberabad police commissionerates have already strengthened the security arrangements in view of Dasara, Ramzan and Diwali festivals. Following the
US advisory, the Cyberabad and Hyderabad Police beefed up security in the areas where the US-based companies have their operations.
Hyderabad Police Commissioner A K Mohanty and Cyberabad Police Commissioner M Mahender Reddy said adequate security was in place for MNCs and foreign nationals working.