Terrorists share the pond of innocents in Hyderabad

  • We need to turn off our TVs and our computers and take a walk about our neighborhood

Lata Jain

Ahead of 69th Independence Day, Four Harkat-ul-Jihad-al-Islami activists were arrested by the Hyderabad Police. One of them is suspected to have helped those involved in the Dilsukhnagar twin blasts of February. According to the press release by task force(south zone), Cops arrested Mohammed Nasir, a Bangladeshi who  migrated to Pakistan and came to India, Faizal Mohamoud, Bangladeshi national, Joynal Abedin, Bangladeshi national, and Zia Ur Rahman, a Myanmar national, who are not only illegal immigrants but are also suspected to be activists or sympathizers of Huji. They were arrested along with two local agents, Mohammed Masood Ali Khan, a resident of Chanchalguda and Sohail Parvez Khan, resident of Balapur, Cyberabad.

lata jain

Lata Jain

“This youth had come to India four or five years ago and lived in West Bengal, Bihar, UP, Haryana, and some other places. He developed contacts among sympathizers everywhere and arranged for safe channels for Waqas to escape from Hyderabad to West Bengal and from there to Bangladesh.

The question which the police department has now to answer is how did they stay as neighbors and nobody doubted them? There activities did not raise any suspicion? Police had conducted search operation, cardoon search on a regular basis after the Dilshuknagar blasts, then how did the terrorists escape the police and the neighbors?

Years ago the never heard of place Abbott bad in Pakistan was shaken by the news of the most wanted terrorist Osama bin laden being shot dead by the US. The fact that these big fish shared the pond of the innocent was a rude shock to the locals.

These are rare incidents of high political interest wrapped in secrecy, but exposed by media. But for the modern urbanite the neighborhood has become obscure with its smells, sounds, events and mishaps permeating, torturing and haunting him to him after days.

It is sad but true that a burglary in the parallel street is known only when we see the “breaking news” on the television or the newspapers next day. Very often it is rotting odour of bodies that alerts us about a murder next door and we are forced to think, if only the neighborhood was connected socially and psychologically.

Every morning we get up. We shower, brush our teeth, grab a hurried cup of coffee and rush out the door. In that moment, when the deadbolt slides free, we make ourselves vulnerable to the outside world. In that moment of vulnerability, we’re aware of the neighbors on our block, but often only vaguely so.

As modern individuals, we’re a lot like the Man of Steel. We have a public face we show to the world. As for that private face — we guard it as zealously as any secret identity. We live inside carefully maintained fortresses of solitude.

Sure, there are denizens of the 21st century who know their neighbors. But there are also people who have lived on the same block for decades in perfect anonymity. They exist as shadows against curtains, as ghosts crisscrossing the light of the television’s internal glow.

Whether in high-rise apartment buildings or homes in the suburbs, we are growing more distant from their neighbors. Sociologists offer various reasons for such side-by-side isolation. The rise in nuclear families means that fewer people are home during the day. At one time, putting up a fence in the back yard was considered a somewhat hostile act, but today new homes often come with fences already built.

Then there is the pervasive fear of strangers. It used to be that a stranger was just someone we had not yet met; today, a stranger is someone who poses a threat. We’ve gotten to the point where anxiety is the default setting, where it’s acceptable to live side by side, driveway to driveway, with other people for years — decades, even — without knowing each other.

How many times in an elevator did you ever notice most everyone is looking down, not paying attention, purses wide open slung over shoulders, earphones on. The point is tried to be more aware of your surroundings, be mindful where you are, not paranoid but be more aware.

Neighbors who till decades back were an extended family to leave keys and kids, pets and plants with have become nameless faces. Frequent transfers, house shifts and the impermanent nature of houses have minimized the relevance of the neighborhood.

Neighbors can play a big role in preventing crimes such as burglary and theft. Ensure your house is visible to neighbors and passers-by so that any offenders may be observed.

If you don’t already know your neighbors try to get to know them. Exchange telephone numbers and ‘keep an eye out’ for each other’s homes. Neighbors can decrease prowling, loitering and burglary by being observant and reporting suspicious people or vehicles to police.

Inform your neighbors if you are planning a trip away and ask them to assist with placing rubbish bins out at the usual collection time and collecting your mail so that your house has a ‘lived in look’.

This city is suffering because the social fabric has been torn. Our families are broken and we ignore our communities and our churches. We need to turn off our TVs and our computers and take a walk about our neighborhood and know each other.

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