Blasts in Guj, Malegaon kill 8

2 10 2008

Modasa Mirrors Mehrauli: Youths On Bike Throw Bag With Explosive: TIMES NEWS NETWORK

Source: TOI

Ahmedabad/Mumbai: In near simultaneous attacks across neighbouring states, two crude bombs hit Malegaon in Maharashtra, killing seven — including a 12-yearold girl — and injuring 30, and Modasa in Sabarkantha district of Gujarat, killing one and injuring 10 others.
The Modasa attack mirrored the one last Saturday in Mehrauli in Delhi. In both cases, youth on motorcycles threw a plastic bag containing low-grade explosive, killing innocent bystanders. The blast in Modasa took place on the eve of Navratri on Monday at around 9.30pm, hours after the recovery of 17 crude bombs in Kalupur area of Ahmedabad.
The Malegaon explosion took place around the same time in Bhikku Chowk area outside a building that used to house the SIMI office, leading to suspicion among authorities that it could be a retaliation to the Indian Mujahideen strikes in Ahmedabad, Bangalore and Delhi. The blast in communally sensitive Malegaon led to police fighting off a mob of violent protesters. The wounded were rushed to the nearby Noor Hospital and Faran
Hospital. Two of the wounded were reportedly injured when police opened fire to disperse the mob. Three policemen were also reportedly hurt in the violence.

A Hero Honda motorbike, which was parked at the blast site, was completely mangled. Additional SP (Malegaon) Sanjay Patil said the explosion took place on the motorcycle. ‘‘Soon a huge mob gathered and pelted stones at the police. We fired five rounds in retaliation. The crowd prevented the police from entering the area. There is tension and we have summoned additional forces. The exact number of injured people cannot be quantified now, but the mob attacked us brutally,’’ an officer said.

Versions differed. While some police officers said the blasts were triggered accidentally by a cylinder, angry local residents insisted bombs had been planted and then set off. Four companies of the state reserve police force have been deployed in the troubled area. Malegaon sub-divisional magistrate Ajay More said that the situation on Monday night was quite tense.
‘‘Three policemen, including an IPS probationer, Viresh Prabhu, are injured. Prabhu was hit by a stone and has a big gash on his head. We have admitted the policemen to Wadia Hospital,’’ he said.

The Malegaon blasts took place when a special Ramzan prayer was being offered in mosques across the town. This is the second time that Malegaon has been hit by blasts. On September 8, 2006, four bombs were planted on cycles and went off in the textile town, killing 31 and injuring 297 others. Nine SIMI suspects had been arrested for the 2006 blasts.

Residents of Malegaon alleged that Monday’s blasts were a conspiracy to disturb the law and order situation two days prior to Eid. ‘‘I saw people running helter-skelter on the road and youths were taking the injured to the hospital,’’ said Khaleel Ahmed, a resident.

BLOODY TRAIL Malegaon blast: Shoppers were target

Ahmedabad/Mumbai: Monday’s blast in Malegaon took place in the historical Bhikku Chowk area, hardly 300 metres from Mushwerath Chowk, the site of the 2006 blasts. Thousands of women were shopping at the time of the blasts. Bhikku Chowk is located between three mosques. The SIMI office, which is located on the first floor of a building, was functional till the outfit was banned on October 24, 2001.

In Modasa, the area of the blast was cordoned off as forensic experts rushed in to pick samples. ‘‘One person was killed and 10 injured in the blast that took place at Suka bazaar.
Police reinforcements have been rushed in to the spot while injured are being shifted to the hospital,’’ said Sabarkantha district collector M Thennarasan.

Here too, people were out shopping when the bomb was set off. ‘‘This is a minority-dominated area and people were out shopping for Eid. It is Ramzan and Shuka bazaar is usually bustling at this time,’’ said Razzak Khan, an eyewitness.

As news of the blasts reached Delhi, Union home secretary Madhukar Gupta got in touch with authorities in Gujarat and Maharashtra to take stock of the situation.

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TIFFIN BOMB BLAST IN SOUTH DELHI KILLS TWO, INJURES 25. POLICE RULE OUT INVOLVEMENT OF INDIAN MUJAHIDEEN. SO, WHODUNNIT?

2 10 2008



TIMES NEWS NETWORK

Source: TOI

New Delhi: It was Black Saturday all over again. Exactly two weeks after serial blasts ripped through the capital, it was hit by a low-intensity crude bomb, which went off on Saturday afternoon in the crowded Sarai Market, near Aulia Masjid in south Delhi’s Mehrauli area. A nineyear-old boy, who innocently picked up a black polythene bag containing a tiffin box bomb, was killed on the spot as it exploded in his face. Twenty-five people were injured. According to late night reports from AIIMS hospital, a 60-year-old man succumbed to his injuries.

Police have ruled out the involvement of the Indian Mujahideen. Six people were detained in connection with the blast as security was stepped up in the capital. Delhi Police was not willing to confirm that it had received warning of a strike from an anonymous caller in Faridabad or that it had received an email to that effect on September 24.

According to eyewitnesses, the electronic goods market was packed with shoppers when a black Pulsar motorbike went through the narrow lane intent on its deadly business. It had two helmeted riders, who dropped the bag with its deadly payload in the middle of the road, in front of a shop, Anisha Electronics.

Out on an errand, the nine-year-old boy, Santosh, thought the men had unknowingly dropped the bag. In a heartbreaking act of kindness to strangers, Santosh rushed to pick it up, running after them as he shouted for them to stop. It was then that white smoke began to pour out of the bag. The boy dropped it, but too late to save his own life.

This happened around 2.05 pm. The victims were rushed to AIIMS and Fortis hospitals, where 10 of them are reported to be critical while others are out of danger, said hospital sources. The police were called seven minutes after the bomb went off. Teams of officers and ambulances rushed to the spot. The blast left a trail of panic with shops in the area closing for the day.





Speak out and say Yes to Unity: Tarun Vijay

2 10 2008

Source TOI

Do we get bad leaders inspite of having good people ? If our people are great, why do we have leaders who fail? Where are the people if the leaders are not doing what we think they should be doing?

A people so intensely under attack by the terrorists can’t claim to be brave by sitting silently and petitioning state clerks. Those who fear get what they fear.

While China, having superbly completed the Olympics, sent a man for a space walk and Sarah Palin “delighted” our PM in the US with a handshake, India seems to be descending dangerously into communal polarisation, reinforced and powered by a secular lobby. In the process, the morale of the police and other security forces is being affected for they are facing the brunt from terrorists as well as the secularists in the government and the media who are running them down, doubting their intentions and integrity.

Suddenly yardsticks for our judgment have changed. Opinions, morphed as judgments, are passed not on merit or weighing its consequences for the society, but by the yardstick of the colour events wear. The Nanavati Commission’s report is to be discarded even before its pages are browsed because the Narendra Modi government instituted it and it shows Hindus as victims. The Bannerjee report is to be trusted because the secular Lalu Yadav instituted it and shows Hindus as aggressors. Strange logic.

Who speaks for the Indian?

Inspector M.C.Sharma’s funeral is not to be attended because he shot at Muslims. When the men in khaki arrested the Kanchi Shankaracharya, not a single secular channel or newspaper cast any doubt on the police reports and statements. But when the men in khaki arrested a few from Jamia Milia, doubts were raised immediately and investigative journalism flowered.

Anything written about patriotism, even a good word about Inspector Sharma, is sought to be embarrassed under a general head – Hindu media. I read this term being used first time in the aftermath of the Jamia controversy. Anything that Muslims show as a sign of solidarity with the rest of the India and condemnation of terrorism is either blacked out or shown apologetically.

Last week, 21st September to be exact, a few hundred young professional Muslim youth from Okhla and Jamia Nagar organized a silent procession at India Gate in New Delhi. They were condemning terrorism, asking for the harshest punishment for terrorists who use Islam for their crimes, and they wanted to be recognized as patriots. I didn’t see the coverage it deserved. Why?

Who is speaking for the Indians who were killed in the Delhi blasts? Why did they have to be turned lifeless in a sudden stroke?

Suddenly a blast occurs and their life is changed. You are going to see a movie, and next moment found dead. Someone bringing his daughter home from school – suddenly both are dead in a blast. Gone to market for shopping – minutes later a phone call at home says ‘Please come to claim the dead body’. Terrorism has changed our lives, our behaviour, our language and relations. Yet we feel hesitant to speak out.

What happens to those who were dependent on the terror-struck victim nobody knows. They are not news. Can’t we speak about Simran – whose father and grandfather were killed in the previous blast – and about Santosh, the sweet little kid who got killed in Mehrauli blast on Saturday?

“Son, what’s your religion?” – should that be our first query and decide what is said next?

Hard law is bad, because it was “used” against a particular community. Police is bad because it’s arresting and targeting a particular community.

Terror is secular, khaki is suspect

While the nation and her security forces – that includes the police too, stand firm to combat terrorism, the state power and the seculars are providing focused support to terrorists and enhancing their morale through statements and casting doubt on the motives of the anti-terror action. India’s secular cabinet ministers demanded lifting of a ban on a terrorist organization, proposed Indian citizenship to millions of illegal Bangladeshi infiltrators, refused to say a word of encouragement to the security forces fighting terrorists but publicly assured help to the accused whom police, a part of the government, arrested for blasting Delhi and killing citizens.

All these secular statements had just one consideration – religion of the groups they want to support or oppose. The seculars have become the worst kind of communal hate spreaders, with their extreme one-sided postures and acidic language. In a way these rabble-rousing seculars have become a security threat affecting the societal fabric and the morale of the policemen and soldiers.

They ordered a communal head count in the army, ignored and downgraded celebrations of Bharat Vijay Diwas, 16th December, and Kargil Vijay Diwas, stopped observing the Pokharan test anniversary in Delhi and failed to show due respect to Field Marshall Manekshaw. All this can’t just be exceptions; they show a trend, an attitude.

These are the same elements who represent the governance and by virtue of being cabinet ministers, which ironically includes having taken an oath that obliges them to be loyal to the Constitution, succeed in facilitating comforts for the killers and create an atmosphere in which sympathies for the terrorists are generated and police become suspect with doubtful integrity. Words like – “they have a soft heart”, “they are our children and hence it’s our duty to provide them help”, “nothing can be said till they are proven guilty”, etc – are bandied about to warn the police and reassure those whom police caught at risk to their lives.

It’s good and admirable to stick to a universal assumption that everyone is innocent till proven guilty. But during wartime words spoken publicly have to be weighed against their possible impact on the elements that shoulder the responsibility to safeguard the nation. If you start being celestially virtuous by sympathizing with the pains and difficulties of those who have waged a war on the state, it’s bound to paralyze the enthusiasm of patriotic soldiers and civil resistance.

They know their side

In the secular dispensation, to be objective, liberal and broadminded and have sympathies on humanitarian grounds are reserved only for terror groups. Is it a secret that these seculars leave no stone unturned to create an atmosphere where procedural mechanism to punish the guilty is influenced and driven to believe that the arrested criminal is not the culprit, but the victim of an incompetent state apparatus.

Remember how a vigorous campaign to release a lecturer of the same Jamia Milia Islamia was launched in spite of Delhi police submitting a truckload of evidence about his involvement in the attack on Parliament? And the famous case of Abdul Mahdani, declared as the “main accused” in the Coimbatore bomb blast case, which left 58 dead? Karunanidhi went to see him in jail, provided all the facilities, including a regular masseur, and finally when on purely “technical” points he was released, Kerala’s Left Front cabinet ministers came out and accorded him a public felicitation?

The charges against Mahdani were as follows:

“Accused No. 14 Mahdani is one of the key conspirators in the Coimbatore bomb blasts case.”

“Accused of collecting and transferring explosives to the town, ripped by a series of bomb blasts on February 14, 1998.”

“Charged under Sections 302 IPC (Murder); 307 IPC (Attempt to Murder); 153-A IPC (Creating hatred among communities); Section 5 of the Explosives Act and Section 25 of the Arms Act.”

Public prosecutor Balasundarm, arguing against Mahdani, had expressed “surprise” over the judgment to release him and said he did a good job in assimilating the voluminous evidence of documents 1785 documents marked as evidence, 1300 witnesses and over 15,000 pages of investigation records. If indeed the case had been presented as thoroughly as claimed, why did it fail?

If such incidents do not open the eyes of the people leading our public life, then what’s the course left for a law-abiding patriot?

In any other country facing such a serious serial terror assault, those who publicly empathize with the terrorists would have been tried along with the arrested accused of the blasts.

Speak out and say yes to unity.

It’s the emergent duty of the media and political powers to help stop the dangerous polarization taking place in our social circles and polity post-bomb blasts and public shows of secular sympathies for the accused killers.

While care should be taken that no educational institution gets a bad name because of the actions of a few, it’s also the duty of the faculty and the students to show solidarity with the terror-struck people. Muslim leaders have to come out openly re-enforcing a citizen’s solidarity against terror. If students fail in duty and character, the teachers will have to share the responsibility for their bad behaviour. It’s also wrong and false that a few wronged people have taken up guns. What wrongs and if it is indeed so, how many Kashmiri Hindus will have to take up guns?

Rather, the goodness of the religion needs to be publicized and there will be no dearth of other communities joining with such Muslims. So far it’s only the Hindus who are coming out openly defending the goodness of the Indian Muslims and their religion. Nobody generalizes the community as terrorists, unlike in Europe and America. This difference remains unrecognized though. Maulanas are silent, teachers do not speak out and the common men suffer in silence. Is that the way we are going to deal with this war? If people don’t forge solidarity and revolt and keep looking to politicians for all solutions, even god will think twice about helping them.