Union Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde made a flash visit to Hyderabad on Friday morning and saw for himself the damage caused by the twin bomb blasts in Dilsukhnagar, the thickly populated area here, accompanied by Governor E. S. L. Narasimhan, Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy and top officials of the National Investigation Agency (NIA), including its Director-General S.C. Sinha.
Huge crowds that thronged the site jostled to break the police cordon to get a closer look of the leaders as they made an on-the-spot study of the dastardly bomb attacks.
Mr. Shinde later said an all-inclusive investigation into the serial bomb blasts was in progress and the persons who had masterminded the crime, would be identified and caught soon. “We will leave no stone unturned to achieve immediate results on this front,” he told reporters at Lakeview Guesthouse.
The Home Minister flew in here by a special aircraft from Delhi and drove straight to the blood-stained blast sites which resembled a war-ravaged zone. A visibly upset Mr Shinde, who earlier had served as Andhra Pradesh Governor, also visited CARE Hospital at Nampally where most of the injured persons are being treated. He spoke with some of them, trying to get a first-hand account of how it all happened. He declined to divulge anything further about the incident on the ground that Parliament was in session. He said it was too early to blame any organisation or outfit, including the Indian Mujahideen, for the blasts.
‘No area-specific alerts’
Mr Shinde categorically said his Ministry did not issue any “area-specific alert” to the Andhra Pradesh Government three to four days ago with a warning that incidents such as bomb blasts would occur, as being talked of. What was issued was “a general alert” to all the States, he said.
He did not agree with the contention that the blasts were a result of intelligence failure. He did not confirm when asked if any source of phone-tapping was identified in this connection as alleged.
He said the AP Government would bear the entire medical expenditure for treatment of the injured, besides the ex gratia already announced by it on Thursday—Rs 6 lakh for the families of each of those killed and Rs 50,000 to Rs 1 lakh to each of the injured persons.
The blasts, he stated, claimed 14 lives so far, while the condition of six of the 119 injured persons was “critical.” The number of casualties could go up, he indicated.