New Delhi: In Parliament today, Leader of the Opposition Sushma Swaraj was fiercely critical of the government for not being able to prevent last evening's terror attack in Hyderabad in which 16 people were killed and nearly 120 injured.
Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde updated Parliament on the terror strike with a brief statement that shared the death count. However, he did not refer to the intelligence alerts three days ago that had warned of a security threat in cities like Hyderabad. To journalists last night and this morning, Mr Shinde had said that information was shared with state governments.
"Is that where the Centre's responsibility ends?" Ms Swaraj asked. "Should you not have worked with the government in Andhra Pradesh to prevent the strike?"
She rejected the Home Minister's explanation as "routine" and said that while political parties must work together to combat terrorism, the "soft approach" of the government makes this impossible. "The country wants a commitment from all of us to fight terror," she said. (Read: Shinde's full statement in Parliament)
Mr Shinde has said outside parliament that "no intelligence was given that a particular area will be affected. A general alert was given in the past two to three days to the whole country."
NDTV has learnt that the intelligence alert this week listed Hyderabad on a list of cities that could see a terror attack. The warning also said that Pakistani terror group Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) and the Indian Mujahideen were reviving activities in India.
As far back as October, the Delhi Police had warned that Mujahideen members who it had arrested had confessed that they had surveyed Dilsukhnagar in Hyderabad for a possible terror strike upon the instructions of Riyaz Bhatkal, the founder of the Mujahideen. Despite that information and the intelligence warning this week, security was not stepped up at Dilsukhnagar.