YSR asks police to prevent further terror attacks


Hyderabad : Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy Tuesday asked police and intelligence agencies to take all steps to prevent recurrence of any terror attack in the state.

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The chief minister, popularly known as YSR, reviewed the law and order situation at a high-level meeting here in the backdrop of Friday's bomb blast at the historic Mecca Masjid, which claimed 16 lives including five in police firing.

Home Minister K. Jana Reddy told journalists after the meeting that steps to improve the law and situation to prevent another terror attack were discussed.

The state authorities have come under criticism from various quarters for failing to prevent the attack at the mosque despite the warning by central intelligence agencies about an impending attack.

Jana Reddy said there was no need to be alarmed after the blast. "This (blast) happened despite the best efforts of concerned authorities but there is no need to be worried. We are taking all steps to prevent such attacks in future."

The home minister clarified that the meeting was not held to discuss a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) inquiry into the incident and said the government was in touch with New Delhi on the probe.

The main opposition Telugu Desam Party (TDP) Tuesday staged a protest in front of the office of Hyderabad police commissioner demanding a CBI probe into the blast and the police firing.

A delegation of Muslim leaders on Monday had also met the chief minister to press for a CBI inquiry into both the bomb blast and subsequent police firing on protesters. They claimed that the chief minister agreed to order an inquiry into the blast and promised to take action against police officers if they were found guilty of high-handedness in tackling the situation.

A special investigation team led by Joint Commissioner Harish Kumar Gupta has begun investigating the blast and Police Commissioner Balwinder Singh Monday said police were confident of cracking the case within a week.

Though the situation has returned to normal in the Muslim-majority old city, police are not taking any chances. They are continuing checking vehicles and frisking people in sensitive areas. Metal detectors have been installed at the entrance of the 17th century Mecca Masjid.

Police have also banned pillion riding on two-wheelers in the old city during the night. The ban was imposed in view of an incident in Kamareddy town in Nizamabad district on Sunday – a person pillion-riding a two-wheeler went on a stabbing spree in the town, killing one person and injuring five others.