Major attacks since 2003

25 09 2008

Source: Hindustan times

Septemer 13th 2008 – At least five bombs exploded in crowded markets and streets in the heart of New Delhi on Saturday, killing at least 18 people and injuring scores more. The Indian Mujahideen militant group, which has claimed several major attacks in recent months, said it was responsible.

Following is a chronology of some of the major attacks in India in the past five years:

March 13, 2003 – A bomb attack on a commuter train in Mumbai kills 11 people.

August 25, 2003 – Two car bombs kill about 60 in Mumbai.

August 15, 2004 – A bomb explodes in the northeastern state of Assam, killing 16 people, mostly schoolchildren, and wounding dozens.

October 29, 2005 – Sixty-six people are killed when three blasts rip through markets in New Delhi.

March 7, 2006 – At least 15 people are killed and 60 wounded in three blasts in the northerly Hindu pilgrimage city of Varanasi.

July 11, 2006 – More than 180 people are killed in seven bomb explosions at railway stations and on trains in Mumbai that are blamed on Islamist militants.

September 8, 2006 – At least 32 people are killed in a series of explosions, including one near a mosque, in Malegaon town, 260 km (160 miles) northeast of Mumbai.

February 19, 2007 – Two bombs explode aboard a train heading from India to Pakistan; at least 66 passengers, most of them Pakistanis, burn to death.

May 18, 2007 – A bomb explodes during Friday prayers at a historic mosque in the southern city of Hyderabad, killing 11 worshippers. Police later shoot dead five people in clashes with hundreds of enraged Muslims who protest against the attack.

August 25, 2007 – Three coordinated explosions at an amusement park and a street stall in Hyderabad kill at least 40 people.

May 13, 2008 – Seven bombs rip through the crowded streets of the western city of Jaipur, killing at least 63 people in markets and outside Hindu temples.

July 25 – Eight small bombs hit the IT city of Bangalore, killing at least one woman and wounding at least 15.

July 26 – At least 16 small bombs explode in Ahmedabad in the state of Gujarat, killing 45 people and wounding 161. A little-known group called the “Indian Mujahideen” claims responsibility for the attack and the May 13 attack in Jaipur.

September 13 – At least five bombs explode in crowded markets and streets in the heart of New Delhi, killing at least 18 people and injuring scores more. The Indian Mujahideen again claim responsibility.

Indian Mujahideen men nabbed in Mumbai

25 09 2008

Indian Mujahideen men nabbed in Mumbai

Staff Reporter
Source: The hindu

Suspected in 7/11 Mumbai blasts case; explosives, weapons seized from them; they allegedly broke away from SIMI

Hunt on for more suspects

Mumbai: The Mumbai police have arrested five suspected members of the Indian Mujahideen. While Afzal Mutalib Usmani (32) was arrested from Uttar Pradesh, Mohammed Saddik Shaikh (31), Mohammed Arif Shaikh (38), Mohammed Zakir Shaikh (28) and Mohammed Ansar Shaikh were apprehended from their Mumbai residences on Tuesday night.

All the accused, originally from Azamgarh district in Uttar Pradesh, have worked with the banned Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI), Joint Commissioner (Crime), Rakesh Maria told journalists.

“They broke away from SIMI to form the radical group of Indian Mujahideen. Saddik, was one of the co-founders of the outfit along with Atiq, killed in the Delhi encounter, and Roshan Khan, who is yet to be traced. The police are on the lookout for Khan.”

The police have booked the arrested persons under the Explosives Act, Arms Act, various sections of the Indian Penal Code and for criminal conspiracy. They have taken custody of them till October 7.

The police have also recovered explosives and ammunition from them. They have retrieved 10 kg. of gelatin or ammonium nitrate, 15 detonators, eight kg. of ball bearings, four fully active electronic circuits, one sub-machine carbine, two .38 revolvers and 30 cartridges of 9 mm carbine and eight cartridges of .38 revolver.

The source of the explosives and weapons is yet to be ascertained. However, the police presume it could be Karnataka, said Mr. Gafoor.

Hawala funds

While the source of finance is also to be investigated, Mr. Gafoor said the “money was coming through the hawala route.”

Mr. Maria described the role of the terrorists in the multiple blasts in the country since 2005, including the recent attacks in Ahmedabad, Jaipur and Delhi. He said the Indian Mujahideen was also involved in the planting of an unexploded bomb at Varanasi’s Kashi Vishwanath Temple, the blast at the Sankat Mochan temple in Varanasi, the blasts at Gokul Chat and Lumbini Park in Hyderabad, the Gorakhpur blasts in Lucknow and the 7/11 Mumbai blasts.

According to Mr. Maria, Afzal was responsible for the theft of the four motor vehicles from Navi Mumbai, which were used in the Ahmedabad blasts. He was also responsible for placing the explosive-laden vehicles at an Ahmedabad hospital and market place. Afzal was involved in a 1996 Shivaji Nagar (Mumbai) case of murder. He has nine cases against him including one under the Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime ACT (MCOCA).

Saddik came from Uttar Pradesh to settle in Cheetah Camp, Trombay, near Mumbai. He was working as a programme engineer in an electronic company in Mumbai. He was trained in a “hostile country” on two occasions for nine months and 45 days respectively. It was suspected that he was very high in the Indian Mujahideen hierarchy, Mr. Maria said.

Arif, an electrician by profession, was also trained outside in fabrication of bombs. “In particular, he is an expert in preparing an electronic circuit for bombs and is responsible for preparing the same in practically all the bomb blasts engineered by the Indian Mujahideen. In the initial stages, he was assembling bombs in Azamgarh and later he started doing it in Mumbai,” he said.

Zakir worked as a scrap dealer in Surat. Also trained in a “hostile country” in 2004, he was involved in the recent terror acts in Surat.

Ansar, resident of Cheetah Camp, was a close associate of Saddik. He was also trained in a “hostile country” in 2004.

Mr. Maria said the Lashkar-e-Taiba and the Harkat-ul-Jihad-e-Islami (HuJI) played a joint role in providing training to these five men.

Roshan Khan hails from Karnataka. His activities covered Hyderabad, Maharashtra, Delhi and Gujarat.

Mr. Maria said Saddik was close to the alleged Delhi blast mastermind Atif. He was older than Atif and was his “controller.” Indian Mujahideen members were also under Saddik’s control.

He would plan where to send members for training and how many were to be sent. While Saddik would draw up plans, Atif would execute them.

“There is another person who is controlling them. His name is Amir Razzaq. His brother Asif Razzaq belonged to Kolkata’s Aftab Ansari group,” Mr. Maria said. He said Amir could be in Pakistan.

The arrested would converge at SIMI meetings. Another binding factor was their same place of origin, Azamgarh. Three of the five lived at Sanjarpur village in the district.

Mr. Maria said that to make identification difficult, the four persons settled in Mumbai told the 7/11 blast accused, with whom they worked, that they were Pakistanis. The Mumbai blast charge sheet mentions Pakistanis.

“All the 7/11 accused are in jail. The suspects thought to be Pakistanis are these people,” Mr. Gafoor said.

Responding to questions on the absconding suspect Abdus Subhan Qureishi alias Tauqeer, who is believed to have sent terror e-mails before the Ahmedabad and Delhi blasts, Mr. Maria said that with the arrests made on Tuesday the e-mail case would be solved soon. He suspected that Tauqeer could be in touch with Roshan Khan.

‘Cannot be complacent’

“We have made a serious dent in terrorist activity, but we cannot be complacent. The hunt for more suspects is on, but the police cannot share operational details,” Mr. Gafoor said.

He said Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh has announced a reward of Rs. 5 lakh for the Crime Branch team.

AP, K’taka engulfed by terror networks

25 08 2008

Source: TOI

HYDERABAD: In what can only be described as an increasingly frustrating feeling, the Andhra Pradesh police has been able to establish that there is a clear link between the terror elements operating in neighbouring Karnataka and those active in Andhra Pradesh soil including Hyderabad, but has not been able to identify and destroy them.

Based on evidence gathered from the twin blasts in Hyderabad last year and on the interrogation of a few arrested persons in Karnataka, the state police conclusively believes that sleeper cells are present in the neighbouring state with elements from the state in active collusion. “The aim of these groups, whether Huji or LET or Simi, is clear. Bangalore and Hyderabad are being chosen as targets because by hitting them, a scare and panic can be conveyed to the US and the West as these two cities are housing those countries’ biggest IT operations,” said an official.

Raziuddin Nasir, a Hyderabad resident, and his accomplice Hafiz Khan Adnan hailing from Bangalore, were arrested under the Honali police station limits near Hubli in Karnataka in January this year as terror suspects. Raziuddin’s father Maulana Naseeruddin, also from Hyderabad, is currently lodged in the Sabarmati Jail in connection with the murder of former Gujarat home minister Hiren Pandiya. Recently, Raziuddin’s elder brother Muqamuddin was arrested in Hyderabad for alleged terror links. What all this proves is that the terror elements between the two states are operating as one group,” said a senior police official.

According to sources, interrogation of the suspects revealed that the October 2005 attack on the office of the special task force in Hyderabad and the December attack at Bangalore’s IISC was carried out by the same elements.

Another clear link between the terror elements in the state and Karnataka is the explosive material used in the blasts. In the Friday blasts in Bangalore, an explosive with an ammonium nitrate base was used while in the Gokul Chat and Lumbini Park blasts in the city in August last year, a similar ammonium nitrate base ‘Neogel 90’ was used.

But while the nexus has been established, the state police has not been able to dismantle a single sleeper cell. “So many suspects have been rounded up in the Mecca Masjid and twin blasts of last year. So many teams have fanned across to Karnataka, Jaipur and other blast sites but after all that, not a single arrest directly related to terrorists could be made. This is what is most frustrating for us,” the official added.

Based on preliminary reports, state police officials have been able to seize a few facts with regard to Friday’s serial blasts in Bangalore. “One that it was a low intensity one intended to create only panic (to reach all the way to the US) and not to cause major casualties. And like the Malegaon and Mecca Masjid blasts, it took place on a Friday during or just after the prayers. The message that is coming across is clear. We are here, we are invisible and can strike at will. This is what the police and the people are being told,” said the official.

‘Vote-bank politics aiding terror’

25 08 2008

‘Vote-bank politics aiding terror’
Monday August 25 2008 04:58 IST

Express News Service

CRY AGAINST TERROR: (From left) Andhra Bhoomi editor MVR Sastry, former head of RAW’s counter-terrorism wing B Raman, former Lok Ayukta Justice DJ Jagannadha Raju and former DGP TS Rao at a seminar on jehadi terrorism held in Hyderabad on Sunday.

HYDERABAD: A seminar on ‘Tackling jehadi terrorism’ was held at the Osmania University Law College here today under the auspices of Social Cause, a civil society organisation, on the eve of the first anniversary of the twin blasts at Lumbini Park and Gokul Chat Bhandar in the city.

Former director-general of police TS Rao, who was the moderator, said religious fundamentalism, entwined with vote-bank politics, was fuelling jehadi terrorism. “Despite concrete evidence that SIMI and other jehadi organisations had involvement in terror acts, some political parties are shielding them with evil motives,” he said.

Justice Jagannadha Raju said the unceasing extremist activities exposed the ineffectiveness of the current policies and legislations. Politically-motivated minority appeasement resulted in keeping stringent and effective modification of the existing laws at bay, he noted.

B Raman, former head of the Research and Analysis Wing, said global jehad took birth at a madarassa in Karachi, Pakistan, and produced several terrorist outfits including Lashkar-e-Toiba, al-Qaeda and, more recently, Indian Mujahideen.

“India has a good system, talent and infrastructure to deal with the threat but it is not ready to use the force. The police force is extremely motivated and untiring but political pressure is preventing the police from acting tough,” he said.

Blasts still haunt victims 24 Aug

25 08 2008

Blasts still haunt victims
24 Aug 2008, 0328 hrs IST,TNN
Source TOI

HYDERABAD: Life has come to a standstill for Jeelani Begum. It has been a year since she lost her only son, Akramullah Khan, 19, but no day passes without her crying for him. Akram, a good-natured youth, was her only hope to take the family name forward and lead a dignified life.

His head constable father Asadullah Khan would ask the boy not to take the risk of eating at any roadside eatery. His father’s fears came true on August 25, 2007.

He stopped the auto he was commuting with his two sisters at Gokul Chat. “He took a parcel of chat and was making the exit when the blast had occurred,” Asadullah Khan, who has five daughters, recollected all the happenings of the day, which are still afresh in his mind. “I tried to stop him from going out on that day, but he did not listen,” Khan added.

Jeelani Begum, Khan’s wife, who is weighed down by her son’s loss, cannot ignore worldly worries. Akram was doing a part-time job while pursuing B Com to supplement the family income. In his death, the Khan’s family lost a a future hope.

“On one salary, how can we manage? When he was there, we were hoping that he would look after us and help perform the marriages of his five sisters. But now, there is no hope. Our health is deteriorating by the day,” Jeelani, a diabetic and a high blood pressure patient, said tears rolling down her cheeks.

J Narasimha Sharma spent her late 21-year-old daughter J Prathyusha’s birth anniversary on May 27, this year, at an old age home as his eldest daughter’s ambition was to set up a home for the aged after completing MS in the US.

On that fateful day, Prathyusha had gone to Koti to buy a book for her GRE examinations. Later, she went to Gokul Chat, her favourite eating joint to savour chat and lost her life in the blast.

“She was a bright child and would enthusiastically take part in cultural activities. During some college celebrations, she collected money from fellow students and donated it to Gandhi Hospital for treatment of heart patients. We are planning to institute a gold medal in her name to be given to the topper in her college,” Sharma said.

Hearing their friends praise the tasty chat at Gokul, Mohammad Rizwan Ali and Yahiya Abdul Khader could not control their temptation. Students of intermediate second year and cousins, both set out to the joint for the first time on August 25 last year after coming back from the college.

“If they were alive, they would have been in the first year engineering. Not a day passes without their mothers crying. Rizwan, the youngest of the three sons and intelligent, was very attached to his parents. Unable to bear his loss, his mother has shifted to Riyadh where her husband works,” Mohammad Muneer Uddin, 75, maternal grandfather of Rizwan and Yahiya said.

Kundan Das, who used to sell bags in front of Gokul Chat, was the sole breadwinner of a family comprising three daughters and two sons. As usual Das was at work when the blast took away his life. “I have taken up my father’s business after quitting my college. My uncles are supporting our family,” Anil K umar, 20, Das’s eldest son said.

Kishan Gode’s wife is forced to work as a labourer after his death in the blast. Kishan used to work at the eatery.
The debilitating blasts turned upside down many happy homes and left a permanent scar on the physhe of the city.

The victims only wish that such gory incidents do not recur. “It has happened to my family and many of others’. It should not happen to others,” Narsimha, Prathyusha’s father, who works in a private firm, said.

As many as 32 people were killed at the Gokul Chat blast and 11 at Lumbini Park on August 25 last year. The big question that is on everybody’s mine is: “Why are the perpetrators still moving scot-free?”

Tragic memories of black Saturday haunt victims

August 24th, 2008 – 4:08 pm ICT by IANS

Hyderabad, Aug 24 (IANS) A year after Hyderabad was rocked by twin bomb blasts that snuffed out 43 lives, the real culprits remain at large while memories of the black Saturday still haunt numerous families.It was the evening of Aug 25, 2007 when a powerful explosion devastated Lumbini Park near the state secretariat, killing people enjoying a laser show. Moments later, another but more powerful bomb ripped through Gokul Chat, a popular eatery that was packed at that time.

Ten people were killed in the first blast, seven of of them tourists from Maharashtra. The number killed at the eatery in Koti, a business hub and a haunt of book lovers, was 33. Another 20 were injured.

Coming three months after the blast during Friday prayers at the historic Mecca Masjid that killed nine people, the twin blasts became this 400-year-old city’s worst terror attacks. They instilled a sense of insecurity in this truly cosmopolitan city of over seven million people.

While the failure to crack the case is frustrating the police, the memories of that day haunt many families as well as survivors. The blasts shattered many dreams.

Prathyusha, 21, wanted to go to the US for higher education. After buying a book, she dropped at her favourite Gokul eatery — only to die. Her family is yet to come to terms with the loss.

“The tragedy and her memory will always remain fresh in our minds. The wounds will not heal easily,” lamented her father J. Narasimha Sharma, who works in a private firm.

M. Susheela, 32, a bus conductor, had gone to Koti to buy ‘rakhis’ along with two relatives. On his way home, they stopped at the eatery for snacks when the bomb went off. All three died instantly.

“The failure of the investigating agencies to catch the culprits is painful for us,” said Susheela’s elder sister Chandrakala, who now looks after Susheela’s five-year-old son Sai Kiran.

“Terror attacks ignite passions. After hearing repeatedly how terrorists killed her mother, he says he wants to become a police officer to punish the guilty,” said Susheela, while trying to fight her tears.

The only hope of a head constable’s family. Akramullah Khan, 19, was studying B.Com and also doing a part-time job. He was the only brother of five sisters.

On the fateful day, he was travelling in an auto-rickshaw with two of his sisters. He asked the driver to stop at Gokul Chat and went in alone to take a parcel.

The two sisters watched in horror as their brother died in the massive explosion. The family said that not a single day passes without her mother Jeelani Begum crying for him.

The blast wiped out an entire family. Mohammed Saleem, 42, a realtor, his wife Syeda Farida Naaz, 37, and their sons – 8-year-old Amir and 6-year-old Mohammed Ali — had gone to Lumbini Park to see the laser show.

Half hour before the blast at the park, the family left for Goklu Chat as the children were more keen on savouring chat. Moments after the family entered the eatery, the powerful bomb killed them all.

A year later, the police still appear to be groping in the dark. The investigating agencies could not go beyond blaming the Bangladesh-based terror outfit Harkat-ul-Jihad-e-Islami (HUJI), believed to be also responsible for the Mecca Masjid blast.

They could only confirm that terrorists used Neogel-90, an ammonium nitrate base, in the IEDs, a pattern seen again in Ajmer and Jaipur blasts this year.

As many as 97 suspects were picked up for questioning and 21 were jailed on suspicion of their links with HUJI terrorists but the police have still failed to crack the case.

The police are clueless about where the bombs came from, how they were brought to Hyderabad and who planted them. As a result, not one single man directly involved in the explosions was arrested.

Police officials argue that it was not easy to crack the cases as the HUJI commanders, including Shahid alias Bilal, a native of Hyderabad, operate from Pakistan and Bangladesh.

The 97 picked up by the police included a few Bangladeshis staying illegally but they were not found linked to the terrorists. A majority of the suspects was let off.

Police said the terror group entrusted the job of smuggling and transportation of explosives, manufacture, planting and carrying out the attacks to different people, making it difficult for the investigating agencies to identify the real culprits.

Govt apathy rubs salt into blast scars
25 Aug 2008, 0459 hrs IST, Sunil Mungara,TNN

Source: TOI

HYDERABAD: A year after the twin blasts on August 25, 2007, many of those who were injured are yet to recover physically and emotionally from the state that they have been pushed to. What is worse is that most of them have exhausted the means of continuing their treatment. The government after paying Rs 20,000 ex gratia per person washed its hands off the affair. Apart from the dead, at least 60 were injured in the blasts at Gokul Chat at Koti and the Laserium at Lumbini Park.

G Sadasiva Reddy, who completed M Tech and was working as a design engineer in an electrical company has lost his memory completely after the blast. Though he speaks well, the tragedy for the family is that he does not even recognise them.

“It is worse than death,” his parents told TOI talking about his condition. Sadasiva Reddy received severe injuries on his head, hands, legs and abdomen at the Gokul Chat blast. He had gone there with his friends Uday and Badusha. First taken to Osmania General Hospital and later treated at Care Hospital, Sadasiva Reddy was discharged in January 2008. For his physiotherapy treatment and medicines, the family has to spend at least Rs 15,000 per month.

Sadasiva’s friend P Badusha’s condition is much worse: he still remains bedridden. A native of the city, Badusha, an M Tech, worked as a telecom engineer in Australia and had come home on a holiday when his world came crashing. His father P P Balaiah, a lecturer in a government college says that Badusha’s spinal cord is damaged and he can’t walk. Discharged from hospital five months ago, the physiotherapy treatment at home is costing the family a huge sum.

Another victim, D Satyanarayana, a resident of New Nallakunta lost his hearing capacity in his left ear. Along with his brother D Sivashankar, he had gone to Gokul Chat. Satyanarayana received severe injuries on his chest, hands and thigh, while Sivashankar lost his teeth and received injuries on his face.

“The splinters have still not been removed from my thigh. Doctors said that a major operation needs to be performed to remove them,” Satyanarayana said. Due to the disability, he does not drive a van that he used to run his business.