While most of areas in the city seemed unaffected by the bomb blasts at Dilsukhnagar, Begum Bazaar tells a different story. The busy commercial area is now devoid of customers following reports that a recce was carried out there by terrorists.
The police too say there is a threat to Begum Bazaar. “We want to put CCTV cameras to increase surveillance in the entire area. This place is heavily crowded most of the time and around 50,000 people visit daily,” said D Srinivas, ACP, Shah Inayat Gunj police station. On Monday afternoon, traders had a meeting with the police in order to increase security.
The shops in the area flout all rules. Encroachments, not having fire safety equipment and non-compliance with building rules are the norm here and with officials turning a blind eye, several buildings with very little space between them have come up over time. This, with the business activity, makes it even denser than Dilsukhnagar.
“Traders are willing to help and cooperate with police. We want protection,” said Ghanshyam Bhati, president of Hyderabad Kirnana Merchants Association. The biggest problem for police is the encroachments in the area. “Near Osmania general hospital, Kamal Khan Deodi, Begum Bazaar Chatri and other places there are encroachments on all sides. If the police want to remove them, it must be a permanent measure,” he said.
The police are contemplating to shut the area at night, leaving only one or two entry/exits points open.