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Hyderabad blasts rock Parliament
Terror alert sent to Hyderabad, 3 other cities thrice: Shinde
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, February 22
Members in both Houses of Parliament cut across party lines on Friday to condemn the twin blasts in Hyderabad and asked the Centre to act on a war-footing to root out terror and ensure the accountability of intelligence mechanisms.

Pandemonium prevailed in both Houses as they met for the day, with angry members demanding a statement on the blasts from Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde. The members were informed that Shinde was in Hyderabad and would make a statement on his return in the post-lunch period. Shortly after he arrived in the National Capital, the Home Minister rushed to the Lok Sabha and then to the Rajya Sabha to make his statement.

Shinde, who is facing heat from the Opposition over the manner in which his ministry is tackling incidents of terror, said the Centre sent alerts to the states on February 16, 17 and 20 about the possibility of terror strikes in Hyderabad, Mumbai, Bangalore and Coimbatore. He said Intelligence agencies had lifted some clues from the blast sites, but these could not be shared in the interest of investigations. Emphasising that terror has no caste, colour or religion, Shinde made it clear that the government was determined to crush terrorism with a heavy hand and those behind the blasts would be brought to justice.

“The government is committed to combat such cowardly terror attack and it shall make all possible efforts to apprehend the perpetrators and masterminds of the blasts and ensure that they are punished as per the law,” he added.

The Home Minister strongly defended Intelligence agencies and went on to say that they were doing a commendable job. This could be confirmed from the fact that terror attacks in the country had come down, he said. “There were 11 terror strikes in 2008, four in 2011 and two in 2012. Infiltration from across the border has also dropped due to the measures taken by India,” he said.

Earlier, raising the issue of the twin blasts, Leader of Opposition in the Lok Sabha, Sushma Swaraj, sought to know from the government if the incidents had anything to do with the recent hate speech delivered in the state by MIM legislator Akbaruddin Owaisi. Saying that the Centre’s culpability in the matter increased manifold given that the Home Minister had Intelligence inputs of a terror attack, Swaraj dismissed his statement as “routine” and said it inspired no confidence.

“This is a routine statement. You took nine years to hang Afzal Guru and delayed the hanging due to political reasons. You now say you had the intelligence, but if you had intelligence, why did you not stop the attack? You said you are committed to banning the perpetrators and preventing attacks, but you display no resolve to that end,” she told Shinde.

JDU’s Sharad Yadav, TMC’s Sudeep Bandopadhyay, DMK’s TR Baalu and Shiv Sena’s Anant Geete asked the Centre what kind of intelligence it had shared with the states and why it was not more specific.

In the Upper House, an emotional M Venkaiah Naidu (BJP), who hails from Andhra Pradesh, alleged that the Hyderabad blasts were the handiwork of “our neighbour” and claimed that the government had no concrete roadmap to tackle terrorism. “The government is clueless about the activities of terrorists, who get support from our neighbour. They want to weaken India and cripple our economy,” he said. 





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