News / Asia

India Placed on Heightened Security Alert

People rescue an injured person after a bomb blast in Hyderabad, India, Feb. 21, 2013.
People rescue an injured person after a bomb blast in Hyderabad, India, Feb. 21, 2013.
Anjana Pasricha
In India, the death toll in the twin blasts that devastated the southern city of Hyderabad has risen to 16, and more than 100 people have been wounded. The entire country has been placed on a heightened security alert, as questions have been raised about the government’s failure to respond to warnings of a possible attack.  
 
Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde said Friday preliminary investigations show that the two blasts that devastated Hyderabad were caused by improvised explosive devises planted on bicycles.  
 
The first explosion occurred near a bus stand and the second close to a movie theater three minutes later Thursday evening in the bustling commercial district of Dilsukhnagar.     
 
At least three of the victims were students who had come to attend classes at the dozens of coaching institutes located here. Many of those killed and injured were daily wage workers. The area is also home to shops, theaters, restaurants and a vegetable and fruit market.  
 
After a visit to the city Friday morning, Minister Shinde told parliament that “the situation is under control.”
 
“The government is committed to combat such cowardly terror attacks and it shall make all possible efforts to apprehend the perpetrators and masterminds behind the blasts and ensure they are punished as per the law,” said Shinde.
 
Federal and state investigators scoured Hyderabad to get clues. The city is a thriving information technology hub, home to companies such as Google and Microsoft.
 
It also has a sizeable Muslim community.      
 
Opposition parties attacked the government in parliament Friday for ignoring warnings of a possible terror strike.  
 
Home Minister Shinde has said the government had such warnings, but did not have specific information on targets.
 
“General alert was given for last two or three days, we were giving general alert to whole of country," he sid. "If there was threat perception earlier, it will come in the investigation.”
 
The leader of the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party, Sushma Swaraj, said political parties are united in fighting terror.  
 
But she asked why the government had failed to respond to intelligence inputs warning about a possible attack.

The explosions in Hyderabad came as the country was on security alert following the recent hanging of a Kashmiri man, Afzal Guru, for his involvement in a militant attack on parliament in 2001. There is deep anger over his execution in Indian Kashmir, where many believe he did not get a fair trial.
   
In 2011, authorities had said that a bomb blast that killed 17 people outside the High Court in New Delhi was the handiwork of militants who wanted Guru’s death sentence commuted.
 
Indian cities have been the target of terror strikes many times in the past. The worst ever attack killed 160 people in Mumbai in 2008, prompting the federal government to revamp internal security. But analysts have criticized the government for not doing enough.


  • Indian authorities and onlookers are pictured at the site of a bomb blast at Dilshuk Nagar in Hyderabad, India, February 21, 2013.
  • Police examine the site of the explosion at Dilsukh Nagar in Hyderabad, February 21, 2013.
  • Indian medical staff treat the injured at the Omini hospital Kothapet in Hyderabad, February 21, 2013. 
  • People rescue an injured person after a bomb blast in Hyderabad, India, February 21, 2013.
  • The scene of a blast at Dilsukhnagar in Hyderabad, India, February 21, 2013.

You May Like

US Border Patrol Union Accused of Taking Sides on Immigration

Report alleges agents leaking info to immigration opponents, appearing at their private events; Center for Immigration Studies director defends agents' actions More

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Reporting from Somali capital for past decade, Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal has been working at one of Mogadishu's leading radio stations covering parliament More

Video Rights Monitor: Hate Groups' Use of Internet to Inflame, Recruit Growing

Wiesenthal Center's Abraham Cooper says extremists have become skilled at celebrating violence, ideology on Web More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Interneti
X
Mike O'Sullivan
June 30, 2015 8:20 PM
Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Internet

Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video US Silica Sand Mining Surge Worries Illinois Residents, Businesses

Increased domestic U.S. oil and gas production, thanks to advances known as “fracking,” has created a boom for other industries supporting that extraction. Demand for silica sand, used in fracking, could triple over the next five years. In the Midwest state of Illinois, people living near the mines are worried about how increased silica sand mining will affect their businesses and their health. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh has more in this first of a series of reports.
Video

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Despite improving security in the last few years, Somalia remains one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist – even more so for someone who cannot see. Abdulaziz Billow has the story of journalist Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal, who has been reporting from the Somali capital for the last decade despite being blind.
Video

Video Texas Defies Same-Sex Marriage Ruling

Texas state officials have criticized the US Supreme Court decision giving same-sex couples the right to marry nationwide. The attorney general of Texas says last week's decision did not overrule constitutional "rights of religious liberty," and therefore officials performing wedding services can refuse to perform them for same-sex couples if it is against their religious beliefs. Zlatica Hoke reports on the controversy.
Video

Video Syrians Flee IS Advance in Hasaka

The Syrian government said Monday it has taken back one of several districts in Hasaka overrun by Islamic State militants. But continued fighting elsewhere in the northern city has forced thousands of civilians from their homes. In this report narrated by Bill Rodgers, VOA Kurdish Service reporter Zana Omer describes the scene in Amouda, where some of the displaced are taking refuge.
Video

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

France is on high alert after last week's terrorist attack near the city Lyon, just six months after deadly Paris shootings. The attack have added new tensions to relations between French Jews and Muslims. France’s Jewish and Muslim communities also share a common heritage, though, and as far as one French rabbi is concerned, they are destined to be friends. From the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, Lisa Bryant reports about Rabbi Michel Serfaty and his friendship bus.
Video

Video S. Korea Christians Protest Gay Rights Festival

The U.S. Supreme Court decision mandating marriage equality nationwide has energized gay rights supporters around the world. Gay rights remain a highly contentious issue in a key U.S. ally, South Korea, where police did a deft job Sunday of preventing potential clashes between Christian protesters and gay activists. Kurt Achin reports from Seoul.
Video

Video Saudi Leaks Expose ‘Checkbook Diplomacy’ In Battle With Iran

Saudi Arabia’s willingness to wield its oil money on the global diplomatic stage appears to have been laid bare, after the website WikiLeaks published tens of thousands of leaked cables from Riyadh’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Nubians in Kenya Face Land Challenges

East Africa's ethnic Nubians have a rich cultural history that dates back thousands of years, but in Kenya they are facing hardships, including the loss of lands they have lived on for generations. They say the government has reneged on its pledge to award them title deeds for the plots. VOA's Lenny Ruvaga reports.
Video

Video Military Experts Question New Russian Tank Capabilities

Russia has been showing off its new tank design – the Armata T-14. Designers claim it is 20 years ahead of current Western designs - and driving it feels like playing a computer game. But military analysts question those assertions, and warn the cost could be too heavy a burden for Russia’s struggling economy. Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video In Kenya, Police Said to Shoot First, Ask Questions Later

An organization that documents torture and extrajudicial killings says Kenyan police were responsible for 1,252 shooting deaths in five cities, including Nairobi, between 2009 and 2014, representing 67 percent of all gun deaths in the areas reviewed. Gabe Joselow has more from Nairobi.
Video

Video In Syrian Crisis, Social Media Offer Small Comforts

Za’atari, a makeshift city in Jordan, may be the only Syrian refugee camp to tweet its activities, in an effort to keep donors motivated as the war in Syria intensifies and the humanitarian crisis deepens. Inside the camp, families say mobile phone applications help hold together families that are physically torn apart. VOA’s Heather Murdock reports.

VOA Blogs