Brushing aside criticism that it took the incident lightly, the state claims it swung into action as soon as the incident happened
The case of an LPG cylinder blast in a car in Coimbatore on October 23 in which a youth was killed has become unprecedentedly political in Tamil Nadu. The huge amount of explosives found in the house of the youth triggers the suspicion that he and his accomplices with suspected links to ISIS were up to something bigger and nastier and the accidental explosion killing only the driver saved the city and its people.
Brushing aside criticism that it took the incident lightly, the state government claims it swung into action as soon as the incident happened with the state director-general of police visiting the spot on the same day and police arresting five people linked to the person killed within hours. It also says that officials of the central intelligence bureau and the National Investigation Agency, who have now taken up the probe on the recommendation of the state government, appreciated the swift action of the local police and the early leads they produced.
The Opposition, on the other hand, says the state government and police sat on inputs central agencies had given them on the possibility of a terrorist attack. They also see what they call a delay in drafting in the NIA in a case with a clear terror angle. Of late, the state governor has joined the chorus accusing the state government of ineptitude in handling the case.
National security and the lives of innocent people do not make a subject for political football. The government must come clean on the allegations of the Opposition about specific inputs by the central agencies. Instead of brushing them under the carpet, it must tell the people if they are indeed true, and if yes, then what stopped it from taking timely action.