On the evening of 21st February 2013, we were on our way to a friend’s place in Hyderabad when we started getting calls from family and friends asking if we were fine. Terror had struck Hyderabad again for the third time in the last 6 years.

We were almost at the friend’s place which was just a few kilometres from Dilsukhnagar where the twin blasts took place and already the police were clearing the roads. Soon the disconcerting sirens of several ambulances racing past the house were the only noises to be heard. Mobiles worked only intermittently over the next two hours. The National Television Channels had started their race for Target Rating Points. The local channels were showing blood, gore and severed limbs. A little sensitivity would have gone a long way. One can only imagine what mental trauma the relatives and friends of those injured or missing in the area of the blasts were undergoing.

On the positive side, social networking sites were forwarding the details of hospitals where the injured were being taken, blood donors were offering help and helpful hints like ‘Please DO NOT call people! Send sms to loved ones to confirm if they are fine. Let the phone network be free for use by emergency services! Avoid any kind of movement for a while’ were being put up by socially conscious people like the Indian Blood Donors.

However there were still many incidents of people milling around the sites of the blasts, some to help, but the majority to stare, take pictures on their cell phones and generally hampering the work of Specialists, Paramedics and the Police. In some places, vehicles were parked hap-hazard in the middle of the narrow lanes around this area, obstructing the progress of ambulances and emergency services. This kind of ‘Terror tourism’ must be avoided at all costs. Do something constructive, donate blood and keep away from areas that the beleaguered police forces are trying so hard to clear. Also to be condemned are knee-jerk reactions from Politicians calling for a Bandh the next day to protest. The best possible message to the terrorists must and should be normalcy to show that we are not running scared, that we are getting along with our lives like before.

On the way back home late that night I saw vegetable and fruit vendors wearily pushing their still laden carts back after two days of National Bandhs, only to hear of yet another State Bandh being announced the next day. Last heard was that a candle-light vigil was being planned in the vicinity of the crowded terror strike area!


21 responses »

  1. Eva Bell says:

    Beyniaz, you have described the horror that struck Hyderabad very graphically. Yes, curious onlookers often hinder rather than help in such situations. I hope many who read your article will learn how to help constructively instead of hindering rescue operations.

  2. indrani9I says:

    I used to live in Hyderabad once, when I was with Eenadu and loved the place. I was so saddened by it all. The term “terror tourism” is very well coined given the apathy of the people. A great piece, but then I expect nothing less from you.

    • Beyniaz says:

      Your comment made my day Indrani. Many years ago, I used to send in photographs and short write-ups for Lenstime, which was a part of News Time and Eenadu.

  3. zubin vakil says:

    Very well written. Wonderfully reported

  4. vimalaramuv says:

    Beyniaz, I was the first one to comment on your work and the comment is missing. Well, I found the first person account very touching and your advice to the bystanders is really necessary.

    • Beyniaz says:

      Vimalaramuv, thanks a lot for reading this and taking the trouble to comment twice. I am touched.

  5. Mohammed Sajjad says:

    Well written article Beyniaz. The lack of sensitivity of most of the onlookers and media is a shame. Terrorists carry out acts of terror and cause misery to gain attention and irresponsible politicians give them that attention and cause further misery to people by resorting to bandhs.

  6. Khurshid says:

    Very well written Beyniaz. It is so common to see people crowding the site of a tragedy, hindering the authorities in doing their jobs. This has become a showtime for people and not bother about the tragedy and feelings of those involved. Our news channels are no better, sometimes it is disgusting to see how they go on and on about their breaking news, and our politicians are a bunch of clowns, all wanting their 15 minute of fame in front of the camera, unmindful of their actions.

    • Beyniaz says:

      Thank you Khurshid. The news channels at most times swing from one extreme to another by giving away vital information which can only help the perpetrators to improve their act the next time round, or by giving wrong information due to facts not being checked!

  7. Nuggehalli Pankaja says:

    What a graphic description!

  8. vimala madon says:

    a person who resorts to acts of terrorism which hurts, maims, kills the innocent is the most despicable, the most cowardly creature I can think of.

  9. Najaf Ali Mirza says:

    Very well written, in detail, factual and in excellent english standards, keep it up. Outstanding….

  10. sreelata menon says:

    Thank God you’re safe! I entirely agree with you. Bandhs only add to our misery.Good post.Thanks

    • Beyniaz says:

      Thanks Sreelata. In this case most people disregarded the bandh and carried on with their work.

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