It has been 20 days since twin blasts ripped the heart of the city, but Begum Bazaar, which was supposed to be fortified by the police since it was another area recced by the terrorists, continues to be neglected.
Despite the business picking up in the area, traders lament the lack of security measures, which the cops promised to take up. The place continues to be full of encroachments.
“Although cops roam around to keep a check on the area, no CCTVs have been installed, and nor has anything been done about the encroachments. The latter part is a serious security lapse as it is easy to slip anything between the roadside shops without anyone noticing,” said Ghanshyam Bhati, president of Hyderabad Kirnana Merchants Association.
He and other traders in the area complained that the cops were questioning them about the money they carry during routine checks.
“Obviously a trader will have money with him. Others coming from outside will also carry money to make payments, or to put cash in banks. The police must do their job and just look after security,” he mentioned.
The business in the area which began resuscitating since Tuesday was the only thing which brought some relief to the worried businessmen in the area. “After the blasts, we were left wondering whether business will catch up. Thankfully, the fear among people has subsided at least a little now,” said Ghanshyam Joshi, another trader in the area.
Both shop owners said the promise by cops to evict encroachments has been left unfulfilled. A week after the cops started doing rounds, things got back to the way it was before. “The issue is not being taken seriously. Police apathy shows that nothing much has changed, even after the blasts,” lamented Joshi.
M Kiran Kumar, inspector of the Begum Bazaar police station said they sent notices to 250 shop owners to install CCTV camers, but only 60 of them have been set up so far.
“Three other high-resolution cameras have also been set up in the Feel Khana transport association lane, covering the entire path. Others have also paid advances to the same security company,” he explained.