Sunday, September 14, 2008
TERRORISM KillS at Least 22 At Busy Markets in New Delhi
Sept. 13 -- Five bombs ripped through several crowded markets in the span of 25 minutes Saturday in the Indian capital, killing at least 22 people and injuring more than 90. followed by another explosion five minutes later outside Gopal Dass Bhawan near Metro Rail Station on Barakhamba road
The bodies of the victims have been kept at Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital while the injured are being treated at various hospitals including Lady Hardinge, Safdarjung, Jasaram and Gangaram. More than 200 people have been killed in terrorist attacks in the country over the past year by bombs placed on bicycles, kept under theater seats and near markets
"Whoever has done this, they are enemies of humanity and enemies of India," said Home Affairs Minister Shivraj Patil, who appealed for calm. "They want to destroy peace in our society. . . . We will take the toughest action against them."Patil also announced that the Centre would give Rs one lakh as compensation to the families of those killed.
"The fact that the blasts took place in crowded markets on a Saturday indicates the evil intention of the culprits to cause maximum casualties and damage," said Home Minister Shivraj Patil.
Mayor Arti Mehra said: "It's a very cowardly act of violence. They want to break the spirit of Delhi.
"They have tried this in other places before and they have not succeeded and they will not succeed here. They will not scare us."
The e-mail sent by ‘Arbi Hind’ from the email-id firstname.lastname@example.org, claimed that 9 blasts would rock the capital that would stop the pulse of the country. The security agencies are investigating the source of email. A little-known group, the Indian Mujahideen, asserted responsibility for the attack in an e-mail sent to several media offices. "Within five minutes from now . . . this time with the Message of Death, dreadfully terrorizing you for your sins," the e-mail said. "And thus our promise will be fulfilled, Inshallah." The message also challenged security agencies, saying, "Do whatever you want and stop us if you can." India's television network NDTV quoted the email as saying, "In the name of Allah, the Indian Mujahedeen has struck back again." The email apparently originated from Mumbai.The e-mail, which police have traced to a Mumbai suburb, warned that there would be nine blasts in the city. Bomb disposal teams defused four bombs planted in various parts of downtown. The Indian Mujahideen sent similar e-mails to news organizations and police departments ahead of bombings in the cities of Jaipur, where more than 83 people were killed in May, and Ahmedabad, where 56 people were killed in July.
Many officials say a group called the Students Islamic Movement of India, which was banned in 2001, is behind much of the violence. Some say the Indian Mujahideen is another name for the group.
Meanwhile, the Delhi Police has ruled out the use of RDX in the bomb explosions. Karnal Singh, Joint Commissioner of Police (Special Cell), said, “No RDX was used in the bombs”.
Ten days ago, Narendra Modi, the chief minister of Gujarat state, where Ahmedabad is located, accused the national government of appeasing Muslims by refusing to pass a tougher law to combat terrorism.
"I experience helplessness without an anti-terrorism law," Modi, from the right-leaning Bharatiya Janata Party, said at a news conference in New Delhi.
"A strict law can prevent sons of good families from venturing into violence. During interrogation sessions with the suspects, we have learnt that the Indian Mujahideen has set up networks in nine Indian states. That is a grave danger," Modi said.
A witness to one of the blasts Saturday said the government lacks the will to punish the guilty. "The government is too soft on terrorists," O.P. Shardam, a local official, told reporters at one of the bomb sites. "They are not in control. People keep losing lives and shedding tears. And the government keeps issuing statements."
Two explosions each occurred in Connaught Place and Greater Kailash and one in Gaffar Market in the space of about half an hour.
Another unexploded bomb was reportedly found at the India Gate monument, popular with visitors and families. It had been mixed with shrapnels (ball bearings) to cause maximum damage. Most of them were placed in a dust bin and were set off by timers," said a senior police officer.bombs were plotted in black polethins, Indian Mujahideen claims responsibility Preliminary examination says low-intensity ammonium nitrate tied to integrated circuit used An explosive expert with one of the bomb disposal units said the devices appeared to have been packed with steel ball bearings and nuts and bolts "to cause maximum harm".
The injured were rushed to AIIMS and Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital.
Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani strongly condemned Saturday's blasts, expressing their shock and grief over "the loss of precious human lives," according to the state-run Associated Press of Pakistan.
Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari yesterday condemned the blasts and expressed solidarity with India.
"The people and the government of Pakistan share the pain of the victims and bereaved families," said a statement released by the Foreign Ministry.
President Pratibha Patil, Prime MinisterManmohan Singh and Sonia Gandhi, president of the ruling Congress party, all condemned the attacks.
``The president has condemned the serial blasts and condoled the loss of lives in this mindless act of violence,'' said an e- mailed release from the president's office.
U.S. Ambassador to India David C. Mulford extended his government's sympathies to the victims and their families.
``There is no justification for the vicious murder of innocent people,'' Mulford said in an e-mailed release. ``The U.S. stands shoulder-to-shoulder with India in the fight against terror.''
Pakistan's Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi condemned the blasts, in a statement made to the CNN-IBN television channel.
India has already lost an estimated 70,000 lives to terrorism, with little success in investigating or prosecuting most previous terrorist attacks.
The Indian Mujahideen, suspected to be a shadow amalgam of the banned Simi and the terror outfit Lashkar-e-Tayyaba, claimed responsibility for the blasts through an e-mail sent to some media organisations around the time the blasts took place.
“Eye for an eye,” said the document, with the image of two men — including a victim of the 2002 Gujarat riots. It threatened: “The dust will never settle down.
“Our intense, accurate and successive attacks like the one you will see exactly five minutes from now, Inshallah, will continue to punish you even before your earlier wounds have healed,” said the e-mail, sent shortly before the explosions.
Investigators tracked the e-mail to an Internet Protocol address registered in the name of Messrs Kamran Power Control Private Limited in Chembur, Mumbai. There was no response when HT tried to call the number for Kamran Power and the phone line had been connected to a fax.
It is unclear whether the company has any link to the explosions, and investigators have not ruled out the possibility of a hacked Wi-Fi connection being used to send the e-mail, as it was done after the Ahmedabad blasts in July.
Sources said the e-mail ID, email@example.com, used to send the mail was created on Saturday itself, and that the person who finally sent the e-mail using the ID had received the mail from someone else on Saturday afternoon.
Delhi Police tonight set up a helpline to provide information about the blast victims. The number is 011-23490312.