Hours after two bombs exploded in a crowded area of Hyderabad, killing 14 and injuring nearly 78, police were struggling to clear massive crowds so crucial evidence could be collected.
Late into the night, hundreds of people were packed into the congested lanes of Dilsukhnagar, causing concerns that remnants of explosives, which could help identify the group behind the terror strike, would be lost or destroyed.
Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Kiran Kumar Reddy appeared on local television and urged those who live near Dilsukhnagar not to visit the site of the explosions. He said the area must be kept “sterile.”
The blasts took place within five minutes of each other just after 7 pm. The bombs were placed on bicycles near a small restaurant, close to two cinemas and a bus stand.
Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde said intelligence alerts about a possible terror attack had been received and shared with state governments over the last 48 hours, but he said there was no information specific to Hyderabad. Mr Shinde will visit the blast site on Friday.
“This is a dastardly attack, the guilty will not go unpunished,” tweeted the Prime Minister’s Office.
So far, the second test match between India and Australia at the Rajiv Gandhi International stadium in Hyderabad on March 2 has not been rescheduled.
In 2007, twin blasts in the city killed 40 people.
Today’s terror strike comes as the Parliament opened for its budget session. Many cities have been asked to be on high- alert since Mohammed Afzal Guru, was hanged in Delhi’s Tihar Jail earlier this month for his role in the deadly parliament attack in 2001.
The secrecy with which the execution was carried out and Guru’s burial in Tihar Jail caused deep resentment in his home state of Kashmir, where many said his body should have been returned to his family.