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Live: NIA conducts raids across Maharashtra in connection with Hyderabad blasts

6.05 pm: NIA conducts raids in connection with Hyderabad blasts

NIA has conducted raids in Aurangabad, Beed and Nanded in connection with yesterday's blasts, reports IBN Lokmat.

6.00 pm: Ghulam Nabi Azad on Hyderabad blasts

Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad expressed his deep condolences to the victims of the Hyderabad blasts, and said that whoever was responsible needed to be made accountable.

5.47 pm: Tamil Nadu steps up internal security in wake of Hyderabad blasts

A day after twin blasts rocked Hyderabad, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa today held a review meeting of the state Home Department.

The Chief Minister chaired a meeting of top officials, including Home Secretary R Rajagopal, DGP K Ramanujam and City Police Commissioner S George among others, a release said.

Meanwhile, security had been stepped up across the state with more police personnel being posted in places of importance such as railway stations.

Two bomb blasts in Hyderabad on Thursday had claimed the lives of 16 persons besides injuring over a 100.

5.30 pm: Pakistan says no links with Hyderabad blasts

Pakistan has denied any link with the Hyderabad blasts.

Earlier, the BJP, blaming Pakistan for the terror attacks in Hyderabad, asked the government to scale down relations with Pakistan and stop confidence building measures for the time being.

Shinde makes a case for NCTC

The Home Minister is making a strong case for NCTC, which was dismissed by state governments as being 'anti-constitutional' and against the federal nature of the Indian government.

Firstpost editor Venky Vembu made a similar argument this morning when he said,

"For Chief Ministers to argue that the NCTC was unwelcome “in any form” was problematic, and would not serve the cause of meaningful counter-terrorism effort. It is the folly of that political stance that has given room for terrorist attacks of the sort we saw at Dilksukh Nagar on Thursday.

Of course, even in the absence of an institutional mechanism such as the NC TC, there is nothing that ought to have inhibited security and intelligence officials by processing the matrix of information that they had – and passed on credible intelligence alerts about specific security threats to the States.

Instead, under Shinde, the Home Ministry has become a post office, merely forwarding each and every strand of “potential threat” onto the States and leaving it up to them to frame an appropriate response based on their assessment of the credibility of the threat. Apart from swamping the States with countless false alarms, which induces a “boy who cried wolf” mindset to creep in, such interventions do not help much.

There is, of course, a case for the Home Ministry, and for intelligence and security agencies, to be more diligent in their processing of information relating to security threats. A bureaucratic file-pushing approach of the sorts that Shinde brings is grossly inadequate.
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5.03 am: "Cannot reveal anything as it could harm investigations", says Shinde

Shinde tells the Rajya Sabha that investigations are on, and adds that he cannot reveal too much information as it could impede the course of the investigation.

The Home Minister is also defending the MHA alerts, which the BJP has already denounced as being inadequate information to prevent the blasts from taking place.

"After the first execution we had told the intelligence agencies to remain alert including those at the border. In the natural course there is a possibility of such an attack in the nation and that is why we attempted to warn states with alerts", he said.

4.30 pm:  Home Minister briefs Rajya Sabha on terror strikes

Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde has finally risen to make his speech in the upper house of Parliament, after being prevented from doing so in the morning.

Defending his decision to leave to Hyderabad only this morning, Shinde said that it was imperative that police should be allowed to do their work without being disturbed by the presence of VIPs.

"Those who are involved in attacks might try to flee and a cordon has to be maintained. VIPs should not distract police from duty. Police should be allowed to work professionally at such times and at other times they can assist VIPs", he said.

4.20 pm:  Hyderabad blasts sponsored by Pak, ISI says Rajnath Singh

The BJP President has laid the responsibility of the Hyderabad blasts squarely at the feet of Pakistan!

"Hyderabad has turned into the epicentre of Pak-sponsored terrorism in India", Singh said.

Not stopping there, Singh said that the Indian government was far too soft in dealing with terror, and said that confidence building measures with Pakistan needed to be put on hold.

4.15 pm: Rajnath Singh asks why centre did not give Andhra govt adequate warning

Rajnath Singh has refuted the claims of Home Ministry officials that they had given all state governments specific warnings as early as last morning, saying no specific advisory about an impending attack was issued to Hyderabad govt or police.

"Like the Home Minister said, if they had an inkling about the blast, why did they not specifically inform the Hyderabad government?", he asked.

"I hold the Centre responsible for the blast. They sat on important intelligence information that could have prevented the blast".

4.12 pm: Rajnath Singh addresses media in Hyderabad

BJP President Rajnath Singh who visited the site of the Hyderabad Blasts, is describing the horror of the attacks.

"I have visited the three hospitals where the injured are being treated. The scene is pathetic. The legs of several students had to be amputated to save their lives. I met one such MBA student", said a visibly emotional Singh.

4.04 pm:  Bomb scare at Andhra Bhavan in Delhi

Bomb Disposal Squad reaches spot near AP Bhavan. The alert was issued after the discovery of a number of unidentified bags at the location. Apparently they contained clothes.

3.52 pm: Sent specific alert of possible terror strike yesterday morning, says Home Ministry

A specific alert warning attack by a Pakistan-based terrorist group was shared by central security agencies with Hyderabad police yesterday morning, Home Ministry officials said
today.

The Ministry had sent specific alerts yesterday morning to four cities -- Hyderabad,
Bangalore, Coimbatore and Hubli -- warning them of probable attacks by terrorists, they said.

Besides Andhra, Maharashtra and Gujarat police forces were also sent the alert, the officials said. According to Home Ministry officials, the alerts were also sent to all states on
February 19 and 20, that Pakistan-based terrorist groups may carry outattacks in a major city to avenge the hanging of 26/11 terrorist Ajmal Kasab and Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru.

They said the central security agencies had sent an advisory on Tuesday asking all states to
tighten security in sensitive places as Lashkar-e-Taiba, Jaish-e-Mohammad and Hizbul Mujahideen may launch attacks. The security agencies sent another advisory on Wednesday saying banned Indian Mujahideen may carry out terror attacks to avenge the hanging
of Kasab and Guru.

Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde had yesterday said all states were alerted about a possible terror strike by militant groups.

However, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Kiran Kumar Reddy had said those were general alerts which often keep coming from the Centre.

3.40 pm: Did not ignore centre's warnings, says Kiran Kumar Reddy

Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Kiran Kumar Reddy has said that the blasts took place despite the fact that they did not ignore the warnings issued to the state government by the centre.

"As the Chief Minister of the state, I take responsibility for the blasts", said Reddy to Times Now. The Chief Minister added that the government would set up a fast track court to try those found to be responsible for the blasts.

3. 00 pm: Rajya Sabha begins but Venkiah Naidu not allowing Shinde to make statement

Rajya Sabha ruckus triggered after Venkaiah Naidu says Sushil Kumar Shinde "can go to hell".  Meanwhile, Shinde stares impassively as ruckus refuses to die down.

Naidu was angry because he said that Shinde should have been in Parliament this morning, and flown to Andhra Pradesh the previous evening. "Is this the way the Home Minister treats Parliament? This is shameful", an angry Naidu said.

Meanwhile this is what Firstpost editor Anant Rangaswami had to say on Twitter.

2. 35 pm: Lok Sabha adjourned till 3.30 pm after uproar over Hyderabad blasts

Treasury benches react angrily to Sushma's response on Hyderabad blasts.

Uproar in Lok Sabha as Deputy speaker says that no discussion can be had on blasts as Minister has made a statement. Parliamentary Affairs Minister Kamal Nath, however, says that the government is ready for a debate over the Hyderabad blasts.

Lok Sabha adjourned till 3:30 pm after uproar over Shinde's statement on Hyderabad blasts.

2. 28 pm: Sushma Swaraj condemns Shinde's statement as being 'very routine'

Leader of opposition in Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj condemned Shinde's statement saying it is 'very routine'.

"This is not a time to blame each other. We must stand together in times like this. " However, she blamed the state government for failing to prevent the attacks. "Is the Centre's responsibility only to provide intelligence to State govt? Is the Centre not responsible for preventing incidents like the Hyderabad blasts?," Swaraj asked.

Swaraj also asked the government if there is any connection between Owaisi's hate speech and the Hyderabad blasts.

2. 24 pm:  Shinde continues detailing response effort in the wake of Hyderabad blasts in Parliament

Addressing the Parliament, Shinde detailed the response efforts in the wake of Hyderabad blasts. "Condemn cowardly blasts and determined to bring those responsible to justice."

He said that investigation revealed IEDs were placed on cycles. "State govt immediately deployed ambulances. Two FIRs have been registered in the case."

He also stated the ex gratia announced by the PM. "PM announced compensation of Rs 2 Lakh to deceased 50,000 to injured. State govt giving Rs 6 lakh for deceased, 50,000 to injured."

2. 10 pm: BJP says govt took terrorism 'casually'

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)  slammed the government for taking terrorism "casually", saying that it did not act despite having intelligence inputs on the Hyderabad blast.

"The government is taking the issue of terrorism very casually. This attitude is not right, they had the information, yet they took it casually," BJP leader M Venkaiah Naidu told reporters outside the Parliament House building.

He accused Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde of changing stands.

"The home minister is constantly changing his stand on the issue. He had said that government had information, now he is saying there was no specific information," Naidu said.

"There were inputs that there can be blasts in Hyderabad and Bangalore, would the government release the documents? Hafiz Saeed (26/11 mastermind) had warned openly that they would take revenge of the hanging of Kasab and Afzal Guru.

"The Delhi police had arrested some terrorists who said they had done recce of Dilsukhnagar area in Hyderabad where the blasts occurred," he added.

Both houses of parliament were Friday disrupted over the blasts.

The home minister was scheduled to make a statement on the terror attack in both houses. However, Naidu objected saying that the government should have allowed discussion first.

"They should first let the members discuss it, and then the home minister can make a statement. This is very unfair," he said.

At least 16 people were killed and over 100 injured in twin bomb blasts in Hyderabad Thursday evening.

Soon after the blast, Shinde had said that the government had received intelligence warning of a terror attack in the country. He, however, later clarified that there was no specific information. (IANS)

2.00 pm: Security stepped up in Mathura temples, oil refineries

In the wake of twin blasts in Hyderabad, the security has been stepped up in temples and oil refineries in Mathura, police said today.

"As soon as we got the information about blasts in Hyderabad last evening, the security was immediately tightened around the temples of Mathura and Vrindavan and refineries situated on Agra-Delhi highway," SSP Pradeep Yadav said.

All the security forces have been alerted to deal with any unfortunate situation, he said.

Security has been heightened at Lord Krishna's birth place, Dwarkadhish temple, Vrindavan's BankeBihari temple, Isckon temple, Govardhan temple and temples in Barsana, he said.

"Patrolling was increased at the railway station, bus stands, hotels and other public places. Intelligence sources have been instructed to immediately report any kind of suspicious activity," said Pradeep.

The security of the refineries of Indian Oil Corporation has also been increased.

(PTI)

1.02 pm: Dilsukhnagar has become 'Dil-dukh' nagar says TDP MP

The MP accused the government of being inactive on terrorism and not taking it as seriously as it should.

"The families affected by the blasts should get adequate compensation," he said.

1.00 pm: Gurudas Dasgupta says there may be more blasts in the future

The Hyderabad blast won't be the last blast in the nation and a lot more should be done to prevent it, Gurudas Dasgupta said.

"We are not a cowardly nation and we know how to deal with terrorism. But why does the government fail in tackling it?" he asked.

The Home Minister will say what we already know, he claimed and said that the country should be prepared to face such attacks in the future.

12.30 pm: Mulayam Singh says all parties back the govt, Basudeb Acharya questions why blasts were not prevented

Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh has been pretty critical of the government in the past and today questioned why the government had been unable to prevent this terror strike despite having inputs.

"The government must explain what shortcomings are there that such attacks are taking place," Yadav said.

However, the government could count of the support of all political parties in tackling terorism, he said.

It is good that the Home Minister has gone to the site of the blast but some preliminary information can be given to Parliament given that the whole nation wanted to know about the incident, Yadav said.

CPI's Basudeb Acharya also questioned the state government and the central government for its failure to prevent the attack.

12.18 pm: What was state government doing? asks angry Sushma Swaraj

The Lok Sabha is currently holding a debate on the Hyderabad blasts. The debate was led by leader of the opposition in the Lok Sabha, Sushma Swaraj, where she questioned the action taken by the state government on the inputs received from the Home Ministry.

"If there is a common line of thought on tackling terrorism and we learn not to view terrorism through the prism of religion," Swaraj said.

The country will have to come together to battle terrorism, she said.The BJP will wait till the return of the Home Minister and his statement before saying anything more on the topic, she added.

"However we need to have a common sentiment against terror. My regret is that there's no common line of thought on tackling terrorism," she said.

She blamed the Home Ministry for just sending non-specific intelligence inputs that the state governments could not use.

12.05 pm: Death toll rises to 16 as more succumb to injuries

PTI just reported that the death toll from the blasts has risen to 16. Earlier this morning, Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde said that six of the 119 injured were in critical condition.

12.00pm: Doctors show iron nails and ball bearings embedded inside bodies of Hyderabad Blast injured.

One of the doctors said that there are a number of nails had embedded themselves inside the lungs of a number of people who had been caught in the blast. Apart from lung injuries there are a number of severe fractures, said doctors.

11.32 am: NIA sitting in Delhi cannot hope to contain terrorism across India, says defence expert

Having multiple agencies that claim to tackle terrorism isn't enough if the police forces on the ground aren't strong enough, Bharat Verma, an expert on defence matters, said on CNN-IBN.

Just having multiple agencies like the NIA and CBI doesn't help unless the local police station is equipped to carry out preventive measures, he said.

He pointed out that CCTVs that was supposed to monitor the area had malfunctioned and had since been left unrepaired.

"There will be more blasts until this is resolved," Verma said.

AP

AP

11.27 am: Five students among 14 dead

A trip to purchase books for the exam of sub-inspector in Excise department proved to be the last outing of Vijay Kumar, who was among the five students killed in the twin blasts in the city.

Among the other students killed was Rajasekhar, who was pursuing MBA, Harish, an engineering student from Kottapet locality in the city, and Swapna, another MBA student.

Vijay Kumar had come to the site to purchase some books as he was preparing to take the examination for the post of sub-inspector in Prohibition and Excise department when the blast took place.

Another deceased student - Azaz Ahmed - of Kottagudem in Khammam too had came to purchase books.

Bodies of 13 out of the 14 killed in the blast have been identified.

Of the 119 injured, most of them are in the age group of 19 to 22 years, police said.

Two powerful near simultaneous blasts had ripped through a crowded area close to a cluster of bus stands in Dilsukhnagar area yesterday.

The blasts, triggered by Improvised Explosive Devices (IED) tied to two bicycles, took place at two sites 100 metres apart outside a roadside eatery near Konark and Venkatadiri theatres in the area, located on the Hyderabad-Vijaywada national highway in Cyberabad police limits.

Dilsukhnagar is one of the densely populated and busy corridors of the city as bus stop here connects to almost all the parts of Hyderabad. A large fleet of buses make a halt here to pickup and drop commuters.

The area also has a number of educational institutions and one of the business markets in the city.

Suspected terrorists targeted the area for the second time in ten years.

Earlier, the area had witnessed an explosion in 2002 near Saibaba temple in which two persons were killed.

Meanwhile, the state BJP unit has called for a statewide bandh today to protest the twin blasts, party president G Kishen Reddy said.

11.27 am: Rajnath Singh points to clear Pakistan link to Hyderabad blasts

BJP President Rajnath Singh said that there was a clear Pakistan link to the Hyderabad blasts, and added that the leadership of the party would leave to Hyderabad this afternnon.

"There are no politics in this, the whole country is together", said Singh.

Rajnath, accompanied by BJP MP and spokesperson Shahnawaz Hussain and party secretary Murlidhar Rao, is likely to visit the Dilsukhnagar area of Hyderabad where the two blasts took place yesterday evening.

The BJP leaders will also visit the hospitals where the injured are being treated and later meet the kin of those killed.

In a statement issued yesterday, Singh had condoled the death of innocent people in the blast and demanded that immediate steps be taken to provide relief to the injured.

(With inputs from PTI)

11.02 am: 14 dead, 119 injured: Shinde after visiting blast site

Sushil Kumar Shinde on Friday morning, after visiting the blast sites in Hyderabad, said that he visited hospitals where the injured are admitted and spoke to the patients who are not that critical.

"Fourteen people have died and 119 have been injured by the blasts. There are six patients who are in a critical condition," the Union Home Minister said.

"We have appointed a team to investigate the incident. Since the Parliament is in session, this is the only information I can give you," he said.

Asked whether the government had information about the attack, he said, "There was a general alert for whole of country. If there was a threat perception earlier, it will come out in the investigation. We will not leave any stone unturned to find the culprits."

He said that the government has announced medical compensation for all the injured. by FP Staff edited by FP Staff 11:10 AM

Rajnath says don't start blame game, Mayawati blames state government

BJP president Rajnath Singh has said that this is no time to start a blame game on who is responsible for not preventing the blasts and "the whole country is together".

Unfortunately Mayawati seems to have ignored that and said the Andhra Pradesh state government is to blame for not being able to prevent the blast in Hyderabad.

If they had prior information they should have prevented it, she said.

11.00 am: Shinde to make statement on blasts in both houses of Parliament

Don't expect any normal business in either house of Parliament today, with the Hyderabad blasts expected to dominate proceedings.

Home minister Sushilkumar Shinde will give a statement on the blasts at 2 pm in the Lok Sabha and at 2:30 pm in Rajya Sabha.

The BJP has already demanded the suspension of question hour to discuss the blasts, while the TDP has also demanded that the question hour be suspended.

"Some newspapers say there was intelligence info on this terror attack, then why was no precaution taken?", asked BJP spokesman Prakash Javadekar speaking to reporters outside Parliament.

10.57 am: Rajeev Shukla says second test in Hyderabad won't be shifted

"We will not be shifting the Test Match from Hyderabad," Vice President of BCCI Rajeev Shukla, who is also leader of the House in the Rajya Sabha, said today.

The state government of Andhra Pradesh and union government has assured the safety of the players, he said.

The second test match in the ongoing series between India and Australia is scheduled to be played in Hyderabad.

10.47am: We must not fall into the traps of terrorists, says Nitish Kumar

Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has called for calm and empasised the importance of mantaining peace and calm to defeat terrorists.

"We must not to fall into the trap of terrorists who want to create divisions. Terrorists are trying to destabalize normal life,we have to stay determined,maintain peace", he said in comments to the media. by FP Staff

10.40 am: Chandrababu Naidu cancels padyatra, comes to blast site at Hyderabad

The TDP chief has cancelled his padyatra to visit the site of the Hyderabad blasts joining a long line of VIPs that has visiting the site. by FP Staff 10:40 AM

10.08 am: Two unexploded bombs found at Hyderabad blasts site, say investigators

Investigators have said that they have found a few unexploded bombs at the Hyderabad blast sites, adding that this would help them to find out more information on who was responsible for the attack.

Meanwhile Times Now reported that several jailed members of the Indian Mujahideen were being questioned as well.

The finger of suspicion has already falled on the Indian Mujahideen.

According to a New Indian Express report, the ingredients used in the bombs were pentaerythritol tetranitrate (PETN) and ammonium nitrate and had other signature elements of bombs used by the terror group including shrapnel, nuts and bolts and pieces of steel to cause maximum damage.

The suspected use of cycles to plant the bombs has also been used to point to a similar modus operandi used by the group in the past, most recently in the serial blasts carried out in Pune. by FP Staff

10.00am: Cricket Australia says Hyderabad test will go ahead

They are "concerned" after bomb blasts rocked Hyderabad, which is scheduled to host the second India-Australia Test, but Cricket Australia today said there is "no reason to doubt" that the match would go ahead as planned.

"We will make assessments in time but at this stage there is no reason to doubt that what we have planned in Hyderabad will go ahead," CA CEO James Sutherland said.

"Very concerned to hear that news but at the same time we are focussed. On the management side, we will wait for the next few days and make any necessary assessments. But the focus here right now in Chennai is on cricket," asserted Sutherland.

Sutherland said it was too early to express fears as he is "comfortable" with the security being provided to the Australian cricketers.

"We work closely with relevant authorities in taking advice from them. I think it's premature to be making assessments on that (whether Hyderabad can host the match) but from where I sit right now, my expectation would be that everything will go ahead in Hyderabad as planned," he stressed.

"(I am) very comfortable (with security arrangements).

Sutherland said none of the touring players have expressed any security fears after the blasts.

"No player has indicated any concern at the moment. The players are very focused right now on this Test match in Chennai and the management will do what they need to do; taking relevant advice, working with authorities here in Chennai and in other parts, including the Australian government," he said.

Sutherland also refuted suggestions that the incident would distract Australian cricketers from the job at hand.

"These guys are professional sportsmen and part of that is preparing yourself in being able to manage distractions.

You need to perform at the best of your ability and you wouldn't get to this level unless you are able to do that," he explained.

"I am very confident that the team is focussed on what they have got ahead this week in Chennai. At the same time, they are very confident to leave it on the management to focus with any other issues," he said.

Australia are scheduled to play four Tests against India leading into the Ashes series during the English summer.

9.46 am: Were the Hyderabad blasts the result of a one-year-old Mujahideen plot?

The finger of suspicion over the serial blasts in Hyderabad is already being pointed at Indian terror group Indian Mujahideen and its shadowy head Riyaz Bhatkal, with the group having conducted surveys of Dilsukh Nagar in the city last year itself.

In a press release, the police said that Syed Maqbool and Imran Khan, both alleged Indian Mujahideen operatives, had said, “About a month before Ramzan in 2012, Maqbool helped Imran in doing a recce of Dilkhush (Dillsukh) Nagar, Begum Bazar and Abids in Hyderabad on a motorcycle. This was done on the instruction of Riyaz Bhatkal.”

9.13 am: Hyderabad blasts set to dominate first day of Parliament proceedings

Unsurprisingly, Parliament is set to be dominated by the serial blasts in Hyderabad today. BJP's Venkaiah Naidu has already given notice to Rajya Sabha Chairman Hamid Ansari to suspend question hour, to hold a discussion on the blasts. by FP Staff 9:21 AM

Update: Red alert declared in Mumbai. All police stations in the city have been asked to increase deployment in sensitive areas. by FP Staff 9:19 AM

BJP calls for shutdown in Andhra, Rajnath Singh to leave for Hyderabad at 2pm

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has called for a shutdown in Andhra Pradesh Friday to condemn the twin bomb blasts, which killed 14 people and injured over 100.

BJP state president G Kishan Reddy appealed to all people to voluntarily observe the shutdown to protest the blasts and show their sympathies with the victims’ families.

Talking to reporters, he said the state government failed to take steps to prevent the blasts despite warnings from the central intelligence agencies. He demanded the government to act firmly against terrorists.

Police have stepped up security in the city and other major towns in view of the shutdown call and Friday prayers.

Meanwhile BJP president Rajnath Singh will leave for Hyderabad at 2 pm.

UN Secretary General condemns Hyderabad bomb blasts

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has joined the international community in condemning the terrorist attack in Hyderabad that killed more than a dozen people and wounded scores of others.

"The Secretary-General strongly condemns the indiscriminate attacks against civilians which occurred in the Indian city of Hyderabad," said a statement issued by the office of the UN Secretary General yesterday.

"He extends his heartfelt condolences to the families of the victims and to the Government and people of India," the statement said.

8.27 am: 13 killed, 83 injured in terror strike in Hyderabad

According to PTI, 13 people have been killed while over 83 injured when two powerful near simultaneous blasts ripped through a crowded area close to a cluster of bus stands in Dilsukhnagar area of Hyderabad, last night.

The blasts triggered by Improvised Explosive Devices (IED) tied to two bicycles took place in the peak hour at two sites 100 metres apart outside a roadside eatery near Konark and Venkatadiri theatres in the area located on the Hyderabad-Vijaywada national highway in Cyberabad police
limits.

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