Terror has struck India once again and the security agencies have been caught napping one more time. Just hours after twin blasts rocked the city of Hyderabad on February 21 Union Home Minister Sushikumar Shinde told reporters that security agencies had information for the last two days about possible attack by terrorists which was shared with all the states. Nonetheless, even after the inputs, the terrorist, whoever they may be, carried out the blasts at the place and timing of their choice and security agencies could not do anything about it.
And this is not the first time that this has happened. In the Delhi High Court blast on September 07, 2011, one person was killed and 24 injured. As a precursor to the blast another explosion had occurred on May 25, 2011 in the High Court car parking. But the authorities did not think much of it and were caught napping when the second blast took place. The CCTV cameras were still not functional and the local police had no clue as to what had hit them. Installation of CCTV cameras was announced after the blast but then why is our reaction always an afterthought?
India has bled again and again. And the perpetrators of terror laugh at us again and again. It is their way of saying – do what you can do, we will strike at will. Since 1993, when Mumbai serial bombings shook the financial capital of the country killing more than 250 people, the country has witnessed innumerable terror attacks including the horrific 26/11 Mumbai attacks.
The pattern of the blasts that occur in the country is also the same. Every time it’s the innocent citizens who are targeted. Be it the Mecca Masjid blast in Hyderabad or the Sarojini Nagar and Lajpat Nagar blast in Delhi on October 2005 or the July 2006 blasts in Mumbai`s local trains which killed over 200 people. The terrorist always strike at crowed places and at a time when the place would be milling with people. The security agencies know this but what have they done about it. CCTV cameras are still missing at most such places and the security check is either negligible or missing. It appears no lessons have been learnt from the past.
Our reaction to such blasts is also the same, everytime. The politicians rush to the spot, platitude is mouthed about the victims, some emotional speeches are made and compensation is announced for the dead. Yes, life is cheap in India. A few lakhs is given to someone’s father, mother, husband or child. Another blast and the story is repeated again. A family has been left to grieve and their life has been altered forever. But then who cares?
And amongst all this, a host of terror cases go unsolved with no sense of closure for the families of the victims. It’s high time that the authorities wake up and give the common man a sense of security. It is also high time that there is a better sense of coordination between security agencies and the police reforms that all experts harp on take place. Sleeper cells are said to have been active in Hyderabad but then what was done to nip it in the bud? Just as what has been done about Indian Mujahedeen increasing their activity in the country or for that matter cross-border terrorism. And what has happened to NCTC and NATGRID?
These are some of the hard questions that our ruling class and the security agencies have to answer. Because the people of this country do not want to bleed anymore. All they want to do is to live in peace and go back to their family after a hard day’s work.