High alert in Hyderabad for Independence Day

August 14th, 2008 - 4:11 pm ICT by IANS  

Hyderabad, Aug 14 (IANS) Police in this Andhra Pradesh capital and elsewhere in the state are on high alert in view of threats by terror groups to carry out bomb blasts on Independence Day. Tight security arrangements have been made at all vital installations following intelligence reports and threatening calls and e-mail messages warning of terror strikes Friday.

Police intensified checking of vehicles and frisking of people at different places in Hyderabad and its twin city Secunderabad, where the main official function would be held.

Security has been beefed up at all government buildings, defence installations, the Rajiv Gandhi International Airport at Shamshabad on the city outskirts, at all railway and bus stations, historical monuments and other public places.

Authorities further stepped up security after a Telugu television news channel Thursday received an e-mail, threatening bomb blasts in Hyderabad on Independence Day. The message sent in the name of ‘Alkahida Zihaad’, warned that they would carry out blasts like the twin blasts here last year.

The bombings at the popular eatery Gokul Chat Bhandar and the Lumbini Park had killed 43 people Aug 25.

“We are not joking like ordinary citizens,” said the message. The sender claimed the chief minister was also their target and that they had failed to carry out an attack on the Imax theatre here. The e-mail claimed that their agents had entered Hyderabad, Visakhapatnam, Karimnagar, Anantapur, Kadpa, Khammam and Vikarabad.

The security agencies have taken control of the Parade Grounds, where Chief Minister Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy would unfurl the national flag and take salute. Bomb disposal squads and sniffer dogs were deployed around the venue and vehicles on all roads leading to the venue were being checked.

Meanwhile, airport authorities have banned the entry of visitors in the airport terminal following a bomb threat. A police office in Mumbai received a phone call, warning that terrorists would trigger blasts at the airport.

Though threatening calls and e-mail messages were not new, the police officials said they stepped up security as they did not want to take chances.

Security has also been tightened at 16 major dams across the state in view of intelligence reports that terrorists were planning to blow them up. Tight vigil is being maintained at the dams including the Nagarjuna Sagar and the Srisailam, which are also major tourist attractions.

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