Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Sunday lauded the restraint shown by Hyderabad people after the twin blasts and promised help to the Andhra Pradesh government’s efforts to modernise the surveillance mechanism to combat terror attacks.

Last Thursday’s blasts in the crowded Dilsukhnagar area claimed 16 lives and injured 117.

Dr. Singh flew in here at 11.00 a.m. to visit the blast sites and call on the victims recuperating at the Yashoda and Omni Hospitals.

Winding up his two-hour long visit, Dr. Singh held a meeting with Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy and others at the Begumpet airport before leaving for Delhi. He sought a proposal from the State government on the requirements to improve the security apparatus in the twin cities of Hyderabad and Secunderabad.

The Prime Minister posed questions to the Chief Minister and other senior police officers about the blasts and the steps taken after that, informed sources said.

It is understood that Director-General of Police V. Dinesh Reddy and other senior officers explained to him the measures taken from time to time to curb terror attacks.

When the Prime Minister sought to know about the functioning of the surveillance cameras, the police officers reportedly said they were used at present only to keep a tab on the flow of traffic. At this juncture, the Chief Minister informed the Prime Minister of the government’s efforts to install high-security Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) cameras all over the twin cities at a cost of Rs. 450 crore.

A Minister told The Hindu that the Prime Minister was very clear about the Centre’s readiness to extend logistic support to the State government. Dr. Singh is said to have asked the Chief Minister to accord top priority for the treatment of the injured. “The Prime Minister was visibly moved and pained by the attacks and the plight of the victims,” another Minister said.

Union Ministers — M.M. Pallam Raju, Panabaka Lakshmi and Sarvey Satyanarayana, State Ministers — P. Sabitha Indra Reddy, Botcha Satyanarayana, J. Geetha Reddy and Kondru Murali Mohan, Chief Secretary Minnie Mathew, DGP Dinesh Reddy, Police Commissioner Anurag Sharma and Additional DGP (Intelligence) M. Mahender Reddy and others attended the review meeting.

Appeals for calm

In a brief statement to Doordarshan after interacting with the blast victims at Yashoda hospital, Dr. Singh said he came to share the grief and stand in solidarity with the people of the city. Appealing for calm in this hour of grief, he said he was happy that the people of Hyderabad refused to be provoked by the nefarious act of the terror machine.

Offering his condolences to the families of those killed, he wished speedy recovery to the injured and assured them the best medicare.

Accompanied by Governor E.S.L. Narasimhan and the Chief Minister, he arrived at Begumpet airport at 11.05 a.m., switched over to a helicopter and reached the Victoria Memorial Home at Saroornagar. From there, he went by road to the blast sites and spent about 10 minutes.