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

UN Ambassador Power Highlights Plight of Women Prisoners

She launches the 'Free the 20' campaign, aimed at profiling women being deprived of their freedom around the world More

Satellite Launch Sparks Spectacular Light Show

A slight delay in a satellite launch lit up the Florida sky early this morning More

Fleeing IS Killings in Syria, Family Reaches Bavaria

Exhausted, scared and under-nourished, Khalil and Maha's tale mirrors those of thousands of refugees from war-torn countries who have left their homes in the hopes of finding a better life 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.
Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOAi
X
August 31, 2015 2:17 AM
Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOA

Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Iraq's southern wetlands are in crisis. These areas are the spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, and source of livelihood for fishermen and herders. Faith Lapidus has more.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Rebuilding New Orleans' Music Scene

Ten years after Hurricane Katrina inundated New Orleans, threatening to wash away its vibrant musical heritage along with its neighborhoods, the beat goes on. As Bronwyn Benito and Faith Lapidus report, a Musicians' Village is preserving the city's unique sound.
Video

Video In Russia, Auto Industry in Tailspin

Industry insiders say country relies too heavily on imports as inflation cuts too many consumers out of the market. Daniel Schearf has more from Moscow.
Video

Video Scientist Calls Use of Fetal Tissue in Medical Research Essential

An anti-abortion group responsible for secret recordings of workers at a women's health care organization claims the workers shown are offering baby parts for sale, a charge the organization strongly denies. While the selling of fetal tissue is against the law in the United States, abortion and the use of donated fetal tissue for medical research are both legal. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.

VOA Blogs