Traders lament the chaotic situation in the busy locality

Though much has been said about beefing up security at Begum Bazaar after the Dilsukhnagar blasts, little seems to have been done in the bustling commercial locality, apart from maintaining the existing measures. In fact, the place was on terrorists’ radar after the twin blasts.

Traders lamented that neither the government had kept its promise of installing new CCTV cameras at Begum Bazaar nor had police installed more outposts in the area.

“Only 37 cameras installed by the Hyderabad Kirana Merchants’ Association (HKMA) are functioning. Apart from that, the chaotic situation in the area is still the same,” said Ghanshyam Bhati, president, HKMA.

Traders are of the view that strict police patrolling in the area has only made matters worse. “Last year, when police started conducting random checks, several businessmen were caught with a lot of cash. Instead of keeping an eye on potential terror threats, they [police] are causing problems to us,” said Ramakrishna, who runs a shop.

V.B. Kamalasan Reddy, DCP, East Zone, said the proposal to install CCTV cameras is pending with the government. “We have requested shop owners to set up CCTV cameras for their own safety and have stepped up patrolling, apart from conducting random checks,” he added.

Lack of space

On the issue of increasing the number of police outposts, Mr. Reddy said it was not needed given the tight patrolling done by the Begum Bazaar Police, and that it was not feasible owing to lack of space.

Mr. Bhati, however, was not ready to buy the argument. “We have hired five private security guards and maintain CCTV cameras. But, it is the government’s duty to take care of security,” he said.

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