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Sleeper cells give Hyderabad deadly jolt, again

Friday, 22 February 2013 - 9:00am IST | Place: Hyderabad | Agency: DNA
When the first blast took place in the city of Nizams in 2002, the otherwise laid back city woke up to a new kind of violence.

When the first blast took place in the city of Nizams in 2002, the otherwise laid back city woke up to a new kind of violence. A bomb was planted in a scooter near a Sai Baba Temple in Dilsukhnagar and two people died in the blast while about 15 were injured. There were investigations pointing at the involvement of LeT in the incident and the accused were nabbed subsequently.

Despite the city considering the 2002 blast to be one off, there was another major blast at historic Mecca Masjid near Charminar in May 2007 that had killed 11 people. The accused in the case are currently going through a formal court trial and the blast was then linked to saffron terror.

Even as the city was trying to forget the bomb blast a twin blast took place in August 2007. While one of the explosives took off in Gokul Chat Bhandar in Koti area of the city, the other blast was triggered in Lumbini Park. The blasts were triggered almost simultaneously killing 30 people and injuring over 60 in all.

According to sources in the know of the investigations, the city of Hyderabad had turned into a new hub of the terror activity after the extremist elements succeeded in developing sleeper cells and the handlers either in Dubai or other such locations finding ways and means to execute their plans almost immediately.

Dilsukhnagar has been an old terror target and there were multiple attempts earlier to plant bombs in the area. Sources in the police department said the area has become a target only because of the population in the area. “If there is a bomb blast in Dilsukhnagar, the casualties are bound to be more. This is one area in Hyderabad which is always packed and traffic is always bumper to bumper even on the week days. However, a blast on weekends would have caused more damage,” a source said.

Even in August 2007 twin blast, Dilsukhnagar was a target. While two of the bombs had gone off, there was a third unexploded bomb found in Dilsukhnagar. It was by chance the bomb squads stumbled upon an unexploded bomb in Dilsukhnagar on the next day of the twin blast in 2007. It was found that the bomb did not go off due to technical failure.
Interestingly, any bomb blast anywhere in India leads to an accused in Hyderabad.

Sources among investigators said the presence of sleeper cells in Hyderabad is the key reason. “Hyderabad is one area that has the wherewhital o shelter trained terrorists. May be there is more surveillance in other parts of the country like Mumbai or Delhi. There are parts of Hyderabad which are believed to be having significant number of migrants from other countries as well and they are never tracked or identified,” a source explained without willing to get into the details owing to the sensitivity of the subject.

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