Slackened security checks facilitated free movement of terrorists
None of the five policemen at Khilwat junction was armed
All that they had were stone guards, helmets and lathis
HYDERABAD: Slackened security checks and frisking operations after the recent arrest of alleged Lashkar-e-Taiba operative, Mohammad Zia Ul Haq, and deploying unarmed policemen at Khilwat junction in Hussainialam helped the terrorists execute their attack killing a constable on Friday.
“We will continue the attacks,” said a statement from Tehrik Galba-e-Islami which left a CD at the crime scene. The government should arrest the police officers who ordered firing after bomb blast in Mecca Masjid in 2007 targeting Muslims, it added.
City police had inputs from central intelligence agencies that there could be an imminent terror attack before May 18, the third anniversary of bomb explosion in Mecca Masjid. Gearing up for that, police sounded a high alert in entire city, organising massive security checks and frisking operations. With the help of National Investigation Agency, they nabbed Haq on May 3, but the intensity of security inspections by police plummeted thereafter.
Some feel if this facilitated free movement of the terrorists, deploying unarmed policemen at Khilwat junction turned out to be another strategic error. None of five policemen, including four of Andhra Pradesh Special Police, posted at Khilwat junction was carrying a firearm. All that they had were stone guards, helmets and lathis.
Gearing up for the third anniversary of blast in Mecca Masjid, city police higher-ups decided to post only armed pickets at all strategic points in old city since terrorists targeted an unarmed police picket on May 18 last year killing a home guard and injuring a constable. The attack on a picket at Falaknuma on May 18 last year on the second anniversary of blast in Mecca Masjid proved unarmed policemen would become sitting ducks for attackers. While home guard Balaswamy was killed, constable Rajendra Prasad was injured in that attack.
Moreover, police were anticipating that there could definitely be some trouble on or before third anniversary of Mecca Masjid blast in the form of protest demonstrations or at least slogan shouting by some groups. This was anticipated in the backdrop of recent revelations by the CBI officials that a fundamentalist group named Abhinav Bharat could be behind Mecca Masjid blast.
The surprising disclosure is believed to have angered rival groups as investigators mainly suspected Islamic terrorist outfits for the terror attack on Mecca Masjid all these days.