Security neglect at Lumbini Park

Hyderabad, August 11: Lumbini Park seems to have been caught in a time-warp. The popular amusement park which witnessed a terror attack in August 2007 killing nearly 30 people, still remains a risky proposition as the security apparatus in the premises are defunct.

Security at Lumbini Park located in the middle of the city on the banks of the Hussain Sagar and opposite to the high-security State Secretariat, is in a state of neglect.

A visit to the park around 5 p.m exposes the security chinks. Only two unarmed private security guards were posted at the main entrance for checking visiting tickets. Further inside, two to four security personnel were found frisking visitors and checking their baggage.

Being a popular tourist spot, many outstation visitors visit the place, some with heavy baggage. During the visitor rush, guards were not performing a thorough scan and some were allowed to enter unchecked. On the other hand, the exit gate also served as a common entrance for parking, with not much security.

Lumbini Park was one of the spots where the simultaneous powerful twin-explosions took place. The other took place in Gokul Chat in Koti, another crowded area. Two months before that, the city had been wounded by another bomb blast at Mecca Masjid. Yet safety is a forgotten aspect in and around the park.

Dead scanners occupy pride of place as mere formality at the entrance. The equipment has not been repaired despite repeated reminders from security guards.

“We are just keeping the equipment intact though it is non-functional. Despite repeated complaints they have not been fixed. An engineer who had come to check the detector and scanner confirmed that they were beyond repair,” said a security guard on condition of anonymity.

When contacted, Vijay Kumar, administrative officer of the park said, the equipment is maintained by the Electric Corporation of India Ltd (ECIL) and they have to look after its functioning.

Interestingly, Hyderabad City police commissioner A K Khan maintained the detectors were very much functioning and security was “good enough” to prevent any untoward incident.