A day after two blasts ripped through the middle-class locality of Dilsukhnagar in Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh chief minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy on Friday said the state capital was not a soft target. In an interview with HT, he accepted responsibility for the intelligence failure. Excerpts:
It seems terrorist organisations have chosen cities such as Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore, Varanasi and Hyderabad to execute spectacular attacks. There are at several instances of Hyderabad being targeted. Do you think Hyderabad has become a soft target?
I would not say Hyderabad is a soft target. It is the third major attack in the last 10 years. Terrorists have a game plan to disturb the peace and harmony among communities in Andhra Pradesh. We have been successful in foiling most of their plans. At least 95% of the time, we have succeeded in gathering intelligence about their possible activities.
Then do you believe that the government machinery failed to gather intelligence on the twin blasts at Dilsukhnagar. If yes, do you accept responsibility for the failure?
We did not have specific intelligence. As the CM, I do own up to the responsibility.
But it is said that agencies in Delhi had sent out an alert, warning of a possible terror strike.
It was not a specific alert for Hyderabad. It was a general alert for all states.
In the recent past, Andhra Pradesh has seen some political upheaval and hate speeches to accompany them. Do you think the blasts are a result of these political situations?
It is a terrorist strike. I don't think political parties are involved in it. It is not a political issue.
Many states have specific counter-terrorism units, but Andhra Pradesh does not. Why?
We do have a special wing, which tracks terrorists. Everything need not be put in the public domain.
How will you take forward the security of Hyderabad?
We have CCTVs in various parts of the city and plan to install more all across.