It was virtually a case of history repeating itself, but with greater damage in the twin blasts that rocked the commercial hub of Dilsukhnagar in Hyderabad on Thursday night, killing 16 and injuring over a 100.

The improvised explosive device that caused the havoc was placed close to a foot over bridge. Coincidentally, it was the very spot where a similar device was place five years ago, but luckily it was defused. Terrorists had struck at Lumbini Park and Gokul Chat then.

For 23-year-old Mirza Abdul Wasay who was seriously injured in the Mecca Masjid blast in 2007, it was a ‘dark Thursday’ evening as he suffered shrapnel wounds in the present blasts.

Meanwhile, investigating agencies and security forces moved into action to unearth the terror angle and book the culprits today. Union Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde flew into the city in the morning by a special flight and drove to the site and later to the hospitals —Osmania, Yashoda and Care where the injured are being treated.

Rs 6 lakh compensation

Speaking to reporters, he said nothing can be said about the group behind the blasts at this moment. Was there a specific alert? the Minister said there was no specific alert and a general alert had been issued to some States.

Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy, who reviewed the situation in the afternoon, said the Government has already ordered a probe. It also announced a compensation of Rs 6 lakh each to those who were permanently disabled due to the blast.

Investigating authorities said the twin blasts were caused by improvised explosive devices that could have been brought to the blast sites hidden on a bicycle. The Dilsuknagar area has been prone to bomb threats. In 2002, two persons were killed in a blast at the Sai Baba temple as bombs kept in tiffin boxes in a scooter exploded.

The ghastly event received global attention with the United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki Moon condemning the attack. Governments of US, Australia and the UK also expressed shock and condemned it. The US offered help to the Government to investigate.

BJP President Rajnath Singh, who visited the blast sites, told media persons said India should scale down diplomatic ties with Pakistan for the time being in the wake of the blasts.

“We should accept terrorism as a challenge and come out with an action plan to combat it”, he added.

amitmitra@thehindu.co.in

somasekhar.m@thehindu.co.in

(This article was published on February 22, 2013)
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