Cultural events, hangouts vulnerable to terror attacks

Hyderabad is highly vulnerable to a Mumbai-style 26/11 attack

Hyderabad: Private cultural events in Hyderabad usually have very little security making them vulnerable to 'lone wolf attacks' by terrorists. While intelligence gathering and security measures of anti-terrorism agencies generally focus on the protection of industrial and commercial establishments, VIP programmes, airports, and MNCs, no armed security is provided for a music concert or similar events in Hyderabad. Since the police is not armed their presence at such events will not make any difference if there is a terror attack, security experts say.

All public parks, pubs, malls, auditoriums, recreation centres and other hangouts have only unarmed security guards. If an armed man walks in with a gun the guards will be helpless. The security at cinema halls in the city is very poor. Most of them do not have guards or metal detectors.

Hyderabad is highly vulnerable to a Mumbai-style 26/11 attack or Paris style attack. This year’s SIMI attack on police officers in neighbouring Nalgonda showed how deadly such attacks can be. Intelligence officials say the gun attacks and lone wolf attacks are far more easier than engineering a blast. “With increased surveillance it might not be easy for a terror outfit to carry out a blast. But, a Mumbai-Paris style shooting is easier. The terrorists just need to get their hands on some guns and reach a public place,” said an intelligence official.

“Our metal detectors and intense vehicle, body frisking can prevent a terrorist from planting a bomb in public places. But only trained soldiers can stop a gun attack,” he added.

Earlier, Cyberabad police commissioner C.V. Anand had expressed willingness to grant arms license to the security guards of MNCs to prevent lone wolf attacks. Some companies had come forward to deploy armed guards. However, the police is yet to explore the possibilities of allowing armed guards at hangouts yet. Senior officers say the police now have armed interceptor teams and elite forces like OCTOPUS to tackle terror attacks in any part of the city.

Security checks on in city, netizens under scanner
Senior cops said that security checks are being conducted in various parts of the city and it would continue for some days. Major establishments in Hyderabad and Cyberabad are under surveillance. A special wing of the police was keeping a close watch on Internet users in the city to track down people getting attracted to the IS.

“We have initiated special checks on vehicles and searches in different places in the city. Decoy operations are also being conducted discreetly at the IT corridor and other important areas. We have stepped up security at major multinational companies, especially US-based firms, in Cyberabad,” said a senior official from Cyberabad.

The police are overseeing security at French establishments like Alliance Française Hyderabad police officials said that busy markets and administrative buildings were being given special protection. Secret agents and cops in mufti are also on the ground to check for terrorists, they said.

Download the all new Deccan Chronicle app for Android and iOS to stay up-to-date with latest headlines and news stories in politics, entertainment, sports, technology, business and much more from India and around the world.

( Source : deccan chronicle )
Next Story