People's Democracy(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)
September 02, 2007
Combat Terrorist Menace
INCENDIARY terrorist attacks have stuck Hyderabad once again. On August 25, the twin explosions claimed the lives of 43 people at the time of going to press (unfortunately the death toll is likely to rise with some injured being in critical condition). Over 80 people have been grievously injured. In fact, the terrorists had planned serial bombings. Mercifully, bombs planted in two other densely-populated localities did not detonate. The loss of human lives would have been more grievous.
These attacks come exactly a hundred days after the terrorist attack on the Mecca masjid near Charminar. In fact, media reports have revealed that the Intelligence Bureau had warned of further attacks in Hyderabad. It is, by now, well known that Hyderabad has become a target for terrorist activities.
Clearly, the import of these intelligence inputs was not either taken seriously or the terrorist network was stronger to overcome the vigilance of the security forces. In either case, the situation warrants serious attention to rectify the lapses and beef up security urgently. An enquiry is surely in the order of things. The important point is not whether it shall be a judicial enquiry or one conducted by the CBI. The important point is that a proper enquiry is conducted to pinpoint the lapses and establish the accountability of security personnel. This is absolutely imperative to guard ourselves against future attacks.
Naturally, these attacks have found universal condemnation in the country. Both the houses of parliament not only debated but urged upon the government to take all necessary measures at the national level and to help the state governments in combating this menace.
In the parliament debate, the BJP, as is its wont, sought to reap political benefit from this national tragedy. The reactions of its leaders to the effect that these attacks have taken place because of the UPA government’s policies of “minority appeasement” or that if POTA had not been repealed these attacks would not have taken place smacks of their partisan approach at a time when the country should stand united. During the Vajpayee-led NDA government’s rule of six years, many terrorist attacks have taken place. But on each occasion, despite the wide political divergences, everybody stood behind the government in meeting the challenge. Nobody knows this better than Advani who while participating in the adjournment motion in the Lok Sabha, levelled such charges. Even when POTA adorned our statute books, such attacks took place. During the NDA rule, the parliament was attacked, the Red Fort was attacked, the Raghunath temple was attacked twice, the Akshardam terrorist attack claimed many lives etc. Are we to believe that all these attacks took place because of the Vajpayee government’s minority appeasement? It is, indeed, ironic that such charges are being levelled when a glance at the list of the dead in this tragedy at Hyderabad shows that a number of minority community people fell victims to the terrorist attacks. As we have repeatedly stated, terrorism knows no religion.
There is yet another aspect that needs to be noted. In the Lumbini park (where a bomb exploded during a show) entry of visitors into the laser show complexis through a metal detector and other electronic devises. Yet, clearly, a lethal bomb was carried through and planted below one of the chairs. When I visited the site of the blast the next day and enquired as to how this could have happened, I was informed that the security of the complex had been handed over by the state government to a private agency. This urge to privatise everything in the name of ‘reforms’ including public security is a scourge that is permitting such non-accountability of authority. In the final analysis, it is the responsibility of the government to not only provide but to ensure the security of its citizens. The government cannot abdicate this responsibility through privatising public security. This needs to be immediately reversed if we are to seriously combat such terrorist menace.
While we strongly condemn such acts of terrorism, the resolve to strengthen our security set-up must be redoubled by the governments – both at the centre and at the states.