The choice of Hyderabad for the Thursday’s terror act could be to incite communal tensions in the city that simmered with communal passion in recent months, police and intelligence officials in New Delhi and Hyderabad said.
The twin blasts that killed 16 people and injured over 100 people took place in Dilsukhnagar adjoining the old city area of Hyderabad. The old city has witnessed communal tension in the days before Diwali over purported expansion of the Bhagyalakshmi Temple at Charminar. Incidents like stabbings and stone pelting forced a curfew like situation on the area for a few days.
The Bhagyalakshmi Temple incident had political repercussions too. AIMIM with a very strong base in the old city and having seven MLAs withdrew its support to the Congress government alleging inept handling of the situation by the chief minister Kiran Reddy.
Further heightening tension, All India Majlis Ittehadul Muslimeen MLA Akbaruddin Owaisi was arrested last month for an alleged hate speech. VHP leader Praveen Togadia had delivered a speech in retaliation.
“It is too premature to name any terror group. But Hyderabad seems to have chosen as a careful target, in an attempt to cash in on the recent frictions. The motive appears to be inciting of communal passions,” one official said.
But unlike the 2007 Mecca Masjid blasts which killed 10 people and led to riots, Hyderabad has been peaceful on Friday. Citizens took out a candle light vigil at the site of the Thursday blasts in Dilsukhnagar.
However, both the public and political leaders demanded efficient measures to curb such terror acts in the future.
“The blasts point the ineptness of the State machinery. Given the sensitive nature, Hyderabad should have had proper patrolling, surveillance measures in place,” T Devender Goud, TDP Rajya Sabha MP and a former home minister told HT.