Police check the bag of a biker in Hyderabad on Tuesday. Security has been beefed up following Thursday’s blasts. (AP)
Hyderabad, Feb. 26: The blasts that tore through the Andhra Pradesh capital last week and killed 17 people have also locked out hundreds.
All parks in the twin cities of Hyderabad and Cyberabad, especially the prominent ones where hundreds would congregate every day, will remain shut till closed-circuit cameras are installed, according to an order from police.
The parks — KBR, Lumbini, NTR Gardens, Indira Park and others — have been shut since Saturday following orders from police commissioners Anurag Sharma (Hyderabad) and D. Tirumala Rao (Cyberabad) after the force was hauled up in the wake of the multiple explosions.
A teenage couple, who had come to Lumbini park from Patancheru, 15km away, couldn’t hide their disappointment. “What nonsense? Where can we go now?” they protested.
But the police said nothing doing. The CCTVs have to be installed first. Police sources said all the four CCTVs installed at Lumbini park after the 2007 blasts that killed 11 persons and maimed dozens were out of order. The park is located bang opposite the secretariat.
A police officer said it would be a “cakewalk” for militants if they wanted to plant bombs at the four parks under the city’s municipal administration as none of the 12 CCTV cameras installed at the parks worked. Militant groups have been known to target parks, including Delhi’s Central Park in September 2008.
Hyderabad police have asked all malls, movie halls and major temples to install closed-circuit cameras within 15 days and warned of stern action, including cancellation of licence, if they didn’t comply with the directive.
Sources in investigative agencies said there were over 100 sleeper jihadi cells in and around Hyderabad. Acting on a tip-off, the Intelligence Bureau and the National Investigation Agency teams have visited several villages and towns in Nalgonda, Nizamabad and Medak districts in search of several names.
“We are talking and interrogating nearly 40 to 50 persons but have made no arrests,” said a senior official.
Forensic labs have concluded in their preliminary report to the Union home ministry that the improvised explosive devices used in Thursday’s explosions were assembled near the blast site about an hour earlier.
It said 700gm of ammonium nitrate were mixed with inflammatory oil. The compound was then placed in steel lunch boxes and tied with copper wires. They were later put in larger aluminium boxes along with nails, glass and metal pieces.