India'scommercial hub, was hit by seven blasts, killing as many as 200 people and injuring 650 in the city'sworst terror attack in 13 years. The blasts targeted the suburban rail network during the evening rush hour.
The blasts occurred in a 30-minute span starting just after 6 p.m. along the railway lines and stations linking the western suburbs. This is the worst terrorist attack in Mumbai since almost 257 people died in a series of blasts in 1993 that targeted the Bombay Stock Exchange and other commercial landmarks.
The blasts on July 11 took place in Khar, Mahim, Mira Road, Jogeshwari, Borivali, Matunga and Bandra. Some parts of the city'ssuburban railway network, used by about 6.1 million people daily, were shut after the blasts.
The Mumbai explosions came after grenade attacks earlier the day by Islamic terrorists that killed eight people in Srinagar, Kashmir. Mumbai generates about five percent of the country'sgross domestic product and contributes more than one-third of the country'stax revenues. More than 10 million daily passenger trips are provided by the suburban railway and the state-run bus service.
9/11, 7/7, and now 7/11. These are not mere dates. These are a reminder to every civil society to rise in revolt against terror.
Terror is a tactic adopted by the enemy to instil fear and disgust in the state of society and muffle civil dialogue on life-threatening evil. Lessons can be learnt from Israel, which has found an effective communication system, communicating to the terrorists the resolve of civil society. The action taken in retailiation by the defence establishment of Bharat should be swift and decisive. Such a military retaliation alone will teach a lesson to terrorists and states, which cuddle terrorists. This is the only dialogue, which should occur giving the confidence to every Hindu, every Bharatiya that the resolve to protect dharma is unshakeable and this is a sacred duty, responsibility of the state. Now is the time to call for a tangible expression of such responsibility. Attack the sanctuaries of terror in the occupied portions of Jammu and Kashmir and reclaim the land that is part of India.
?The masterminds are not in India?. A British terrorism expert says the serial attacks in Mumbai were masterminded by outfits from abroad. According to him, ?The level of sophistication and organisation needed to carry out such a widespread and tightly coordinated attack is beyond the known capabilities of any of the Islamic groups operating in either Kashmir or elsewhere in India.? Immediately after the blasts, he said, ?This has all the hallmarks of a special forces/ intelligence operation… it may have been carried out by expendable extremists, but those who were the promoters and brains have military training.? ?The Mumbai blasts is an attack on India'ssoft underbelly,? said Ajit Doval, former director, Intelligence Bureau. Doval too agrees with the views of the British expert. ?From my experience I think that the blasts are not an indigenous effort. It is the exported variety of terrorism. The blasts of Mumbai have a foreign origin and it is obvious that a lot of effort has gone behind its execution,? Doval, who extensively investigated fugitive gangster Dawood Ibrahim'sinvolvement in the March 12, 1993 Mumbai bomb blasts said. ?The saboteurs are telling India that they are alive, kicking and have the capacity to strike at any place in India, at a time of their choosing,? he added.
?Mumbai blasts must have involved more than 25 people who might have knowingly and unknowingly participated. It is very likely that the masterminds are not in India. The actual perpetrators may not be more than four or five but these guys must have got help from many people. The infrastructure for these blasts must have been quite big. Motor vehicles, local agents, people who provided cover to terrorists and people who planted the devices must have been involved. They should be and will be found out.?
The blasts came hours after a series of grenade attacks by Islamic extremists killed eight people in Srinagar.
Chaos engulfed the crowded rail network in India'sfinancial capital following the blasts that ripped apart densely packed carriages on trains that police said had either pulled into stations or were traveling between them. Doors and windows were blown off the train cars, and witnesses said body parts were strewn on the ground. The city struggled to treat survivors and recover the dead in the wreckage amid heavy monsoon downpours, and the effort continued into days. Survivors clutched bandages to their heads and faces, and some frantically dialed their cell phones. Luggage and debris were spattered with blood. There was no immediate indication if suicide bombers were involved. Police inspector Ramesh Sawant said most of the victims suffered head and chest injuries, leading authorities to believe the bombs were placed in overhead luggage racks. ?I can'thear anything,? said Shailesh Mhate, a man in his 20s, sitting on the floor of Veena Desai Hospital surrounded by bloody cotton swabs. ??People around me didn'tsurvive. I don'tknow how I did,? he added.
Commuter transit systems have been tempting targets for terrorists in recent years, with bombers killing 191 in Madrid, Spain, in 2004, and 52 in London last year. A senior Bombay police official, P.S. Pasricha, said the Bombay explosions were part of a well-coordinated attack.
The bombings occurred after the stock markets ended. The commercial capital suffered similar serial blasts in 1993 that included the Bombay Stock Exchange, killing more than 250 people. July 11 evening'sfirst explosion hit a train at a railway station in the northwestern suburb of Khar.
Other blasts followed down the line of the western railway at the Mahim, Bandra, Matunga, Borivili, Mira Road and Jogeshwari stations. Some passengers reportedly jumped from speeding trains in panic.
The terror attack on Mumbai trains was carried out by Lashkar-e-Toiba and local Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) activists and was designed to trigger communal conflagration in the country'sfinancial capital, intelligence sources said.
While still waiting for clues to emerge, top intelligence sources in New Delhi seem pretty sure the blasts on the trains were plotted by Lashkar modules which are increasingly collaborating with activists of SIMI, which boasts of strong pockets of influence across Maharashtra.
Unlike last time, when tip-offs helped the Maharashtra police foil the fidayeen attack on RSS headquarters at Nagpur, this time, Maharashtra and central sleuths failed to detect the plot.
Officials are convinced that the terrorists? objective was to cause communal mayhem in the city. The conviction is based on two facts. First, the trains were targeted just after the communal-tinged violence in Bhiwandi, and the protests by Shiv Sainiks over the insult to the statue of Meenatai Thackeray by miscreants.
Hindu American Foundation condemns terrorist attacks
WASHINGTON, D.C.: The Hindu American Foundation (HAF) expressed horror and outrage over coordinated terrorist attacks on commuter trains in Mumbai.
?We all Americans join in condemning the murder of hundreds of innocent victims in Mumbai, and pray for a speedy recovery for the injured,? said Mihir Meghani, president of HAF. ?The brutality of these terror attacks highlights the ruthless potential of foreign-based terror groups operating in India, and the harsh reality that India is a frontline nation in the international war against terror.?
Hindu Council UK condemns
This is a cowardly and brutal act designed to kill and maim innocent people travelling on the very central railway line of the city. The attack was designed to kill as many people as possible, like New York, Bali, Madrid, London.
Dr Krishan Kumar at the prayers meeting at Geeta Bhawan temple in Lozelles, Birmingham, said, ?We had just been praying for the 7/7 victims and now the 7/11. People of all faiths will unite in condemning these terrorists.?
Dilip Joshi from the Southampton temple and an HCUK executive said, ?These terrorists will neither live themselves peacefully nor let others live, they are simply evil.?
Vishwa Hindu Parishad, UK
Today India experienced another major human disaster, a series of bomb explosions causing massive loss of life and limb.
On behalf of the Hindu community in the United Kingdom, we extend our heartfelt condolences and sympathy to the bereaved and affected families. We ask the Government of India to take all measures in order to ensure the safety of her citizens, and to bring to justice those responsible for these massacres.