Worried at the possibility of a terror strike against Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru’s hanging, central intelligence agencies had sent out a terror alert two days back asking all states to remain prepared for a retaliatory attack. It was this general alert that home minister Sushilkumar Shinde referred to within minutes of the twin blasts in Hyderabad when he first addressed the media on Thursday evening. Shinde said the government had some intelligence inputs about a possible terror attack for the last two days. He said the intelligence had been shared with chief ministers of different states, but refused to share any more information.
Government sources said the alert followed technical intelligence gathered by the agencies in the days after the 9 February secret hanging of Afzal Guru. Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Toiba had promptly warned of attacks against India to avenge the execution. Sources, however, pointed that Thursday’s blasts were unlikely to be linked to Afzal’s hanging, particularly since the logistics of organizing the blast would take more than a few days or weeks. Afzal’s execution – specially contrasted with the manner in which death row convicts in other cases have been allowed to exhaust judicial recourse – has generated an impression that the government was less than fair with Afzal, a charge that the home ministry has consistently denied.