It was the third time in last decade that Dilsukhnagar has been targeted by terrorists. The bustling residential-commercial centre had earlier witnessed a bomb blast at Saibaba temple in 2002, which claimed two lives.
Five years later, Hyderabad experienced twin blasts at Gokul Chat in Kothi and Lumbini Park in front of the Secretariat. The terrorists had also planted a bomb at the foot over bridge in Dilsukhnagar, but it was detected and defused in time. And now again by a quirk of fate, five years later, the same area is rocked by blasts.
Why do the terror planners keep returning to Dilsukhnagar? Is it because of the high concentration of crowds so that maximum damage could be inflicted?
Located almost on the south-eastern tip of the city, Dilsukhnagar ranks high among the densely populated and busy corridors of Hyderabad. Given the numerous middle class colonies in the vicinity, the central Dilsukhnagar area around the bus stop teems with crowds throughout the day, peaking during the evenings.
The bus stop here connects to almost all the parts of the city and thus has a large fleet of buses making a halt here to pick up and drop commuters. In the 1980s and 90s, Dilsukhnagar was the most preferred location by the government employees for setting up home and even now, sundown sees a large administrative staff getting down from buses here to return home.
The location is the last pick up point for passengers heading for Vijayawada, Guntur, Tenali and parts of the coastal region, which adds to the crowd presence here. Also, the surroundings of the bus stop here have metamorphosed into a beehive of commercial activity with road side kiosks to well furnished showrooms and a couple of film theatres.
Also, the bomb attack site is close to the popular Sai Baba temple which draws devotees in large numbers, particularly on Thursday evening when aarti is held around the sunset.
With little or no mechanism to control and streamline the movement of crowds along or across the roads, chaotic conditions prevail particularly between 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.
At the same time, the area does not get adequate attention from security agencies. The focus that is paid to other parts of the main city or even the emerging IT corridors on peripheries is not accorded here.
The usual monitoring of the south zone too peters out around Malakpet leaving Dilsukhnagar vulnerable, as this bustling area falls both in the commissionerates of Hyderabad and Cyberabad.