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Hyderabad blasts a stark reminder

Intelligence agencies and politicians must be held accountable for lapses in security arrangements

Gulf News

Lack of accountability — a malaise which keeps creeping in continuously into the government machinery — has once again reared its ugly head in the face of the twin bomb blasts in Hyderabad, India, on Thursday. Lives have been lost in vain and the death toll keeps climbing as the state and central governments continue to trip over a faux pas of their own making.

The home ministry has been repeatedly caught on the wrong foot in the face of terror attacks. It is no coincidence that Thursday’s incident came in the wake of Afzal Guru’s hanging recently. The government should have put all its security agencies on high alert in anticipation of a backlash, which has come sooner than expected and with devastating effect. While no one has yet claimed responsibility for the twin strikes, the Union Home Minister, Sushil Kumar Shinde, blurted out that the federal government had warned the states of an unspecified threat earlier in the week. His claim of a “general alert” being sounded was rebuffed by the Andhra Pradesh state authorities. What has ensued, in the backdrop of this tragedy, is claim and counter-claim by the state and central governments. Trying to make political capital, a rather cruel and insensitive ploy, out of this has been the ploy of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), the principal opposition party at the centre. BJP has called a one-day strike in Andhra Pradesh to protest the attack.

More sensitivity needs to be shown towards the victims and their families. It is incumbent upon political parties and politicians to show more compassion instead of indulging in political rhetoric.

The city of Hyderabad, an IT and business hot-spot, has been the target of terror attacks in the past. The fact that the blast took place despite the government having the relevant intelligence at hand has magnified the issue further. Intelligence agencies must be made accountable for such lapses, as also the Union home minister, who has been in the news for all the wrong reasons of late.