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Intelligence agencies have a fine line to tread

Marri Ramu
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The Sai Baba temple in Dilsukhnagar.
The Sai Baba temple in Dilsukhnagar.

Doubts were expressed over claims of the police when Md. Azam and Syed Aziz, two Hyderabadis, were shot dead by police within two days of the terror attack at Sai Baba temple in Dilsukhnagar on November 21, 2002.

Azam was shot dead allegedly while fleeing on seeing police on the outskirts of Uppal and Aziz was killed in a similar ‘police encounter’ in Karimnagar. Eyebrows were raised over the police version that the two men from old city were identified as suspects in the case within short span of time. The way the two men got killed in the hands of police gave strength to the allegations from some quarters that they were picked up and eliminated without clinching evidence connecting them to the explosion at the temple.

Intelligence agencies have altogether a different tale to tell. They maintain that the two men were under their scanner as they were regularly in touch with Abdul Bari of Hyderabad, a terror suspect operating from Riyadh. Eavesdropping indicated that they did reconnaissance of some localities to explode bombs.

The intelligence teams were tracking them even as they went ahead with their plans. “We couldn’t prevent the explosion but nabbed the persons responsible since a tab was kept on their operation,” a police officer said.

That was not the case with the investigation into the twin blasts at Lumbini Park and Gokul Chat in 2007, the deadliest terror strike the State capital had ever witnessed snuffing out 42 lives. Police were clueless about the terror operatives. They went on picking up Muslim youths and slapped them with charges of criminal conspiracy after allegedly detaining and torturing them for days together.

The Hyderabad police miserably failed to identify the persons behind the twin blasts and received a blow as the courts acquitted many of the youngsters arrested by them. Even as the police here almost gave up the case, the Mumbai police busted the Indian Mujahideen module arresting five persons in 2008. The arrested persons admitted to interrogators that they detonated the Improvised Explosive Devices in 2007 to take vengeance against the killing of Muslims in Mecca Masjid in a terror attack earlier.

Marri Ramu

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