The editorial “Policing needed, not politics” (Feb. 23) rightly highlighted the weaknesses in the security apparatus and the urgent need to take effective preventive measures. It is important to make detailed plans to prevent dastardly incidents like the Hyderabad bomb attacks. First, we need to complete the task of creating a national counter terrorism centre on the lines of the U.S.’s anti-terror body. Its job should be to collect information, join the dots, and produce actionable intelligence. It should be well coordinated with the National Investigation Agency which should have adequate powers like the FBI. All intelligence resources of the Centre and the States should be synchronised. Once information of a terror strike has been received through intelligence, it should be converted into action. Terrorists should be pre-empted, attack thwarted, and a strong message sent to the perpetrators of terror that India is not a soft target.
Col. R.D. Singh (retd.),
The Centre says the Delhi police alerted the Hyderabad police of a possible terror strike, while the Andhra Pradesh police claim it was only a general and routine alert. What is evident is that but for the casual attitude of the officials concerned, the tragedy in Hyderabad could have been averted.
The governments should stop the blame game and ensure that relief operations are undertaken sincerely, and the people of Hyderabad do not lose confidence in the political system.
Bhanamma Aravinda Bai,
The Andhra Pradesh government seems to have ignored the Centre’s alert as routine and paid for the folly with blood. It is paradoxical that all State governments oppose the National Investigation Agency on the plea that it undermines their powers. But the States do not seem capable of preventing terror activities. The Centre should assert itself and use the NIA more effectively.
Although Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Kiran Kumar Reddy has tried to defend his police saying the alert of a terror attack was a routine matter, it cannot be denied that the State police failed. Was it not their duty to post security personnel round the clock around the vulnerable spots in the city, especially after the Centre alerted them of possible attacks?
It is no surprise that the terrorists struck in Hyderabad, given that Afzal Guru was hanged recently. But this time round, the finger points to the Hyderabad police for their gross negligence in not paying heed to the warning of a possible attack on the city.
The area between the foot over-bridge and Anand Tiffins is the most crowded spot in Dilsukhnagar, targeted by terrorists in the past too. But the administration failed in taking preventive steps such as clearing the pavement shops and increasing the number of surveillance cameras. Since the attack on Pentagon, the U.S. security forces have been watching the skies from the rooftops of defence buildings. Such dedication and watch in many crowded places of our cities would help a lot. What is disturbing is the attempt of politicians to gain political mileage from the tragedy.
M. Somasekhar Prasad,
The lack of governance since the death of Rajashekhara Reddy in Andhra Pradesh is a main cause for the lapse. Infighting in the Congress, the Telangana agitation and involvement of government employees in political agitations — all these seem to have encouraged the terrorists to strike.
The Chief Minister is in New Delhi virtually every alternative day for consultations with the Congress high command. His absence from the State has brought about a sense of lethargy among the legislators. There is, in fact, no government worth its name in Andhra Pradesh today. The secretariat wears a deserted look. Ministers are divided into pro-Telangana and anti-Telangana groups.
Baru Rajendra Prasad,
If politicians, in the government and the opposition, devote even a fraction of their time for governance and development, the condition of Andhra Pradesh would surely be much better. When Hyderabad has been a soft target of terror, no alert should have been taken as routine and the police should have kept a vigil at all vulnerable points.
The authorities would do well to realise that routine statements like the “guilty will be punished” do not impress or serve any purpose.