Kashmir valley was rocked with five blasts today.
Soon news came in that three blasts occurred one after the other in two local trains in Mumbai. One in Mahim, second between Khar and Santa cruz and the third between Mira road and Bhayandar.
Commuters were returning home at rush hours ..the compartments have been totally blasted.All the trains were fast trains from Church gate To Borivili – Bhayandar.. to attain maximum damage.. aimed at innocent people.
News of two further blasts on the Western Railway has just come in, while I am typing at Jogeswari and Borivili..taking up the count to five blasts in Mumbai..
No link to the story is available as yet..It seems to be an orchestrated plan, a serialised attack. All major metros on high alert.
This is the report received from Television news channels.
After the 1993 blasts this is the first time that such serialised blasts have taken place
Telephone lines have been disrupted in Mumbai..mobile and landlines.
Update: 8 blasts confirmed and more than a 100 dead.
Blasts occurred at Khar, Jogeshwari, Mira Road, Bandra, Borivili (2) Matunga, Mahim.
Eight blasts in 7 stations.
Possibly remote controlled timer devices and high intensity explosives were used. In a span of half hour and the similarity with the number of attacks in kashmir, shows indications of a terrorist attack well orchestrated.
Bags with bombs left on racks and on platforms appears to be the modus operandi.
Western railway is the life line of Mumbai and was targetted for the specific purpose of paralysing populace.
Horrendous scenes being shown on television. Even more exasperating are accounts of the common man claiming that the railway police was nowhere on the scene. Bodies, dismembered and in horrific conditions were extracted from the bogeys by Mumbai-ites and packed on to taxis and autos.
When will authorities ever decide to do what is expected of them? Why does not an average cop remember that he is a human being too? Why does the common man have to come to the rescue and manifest its spirit but not the officials? Answers are not expected but asking them seemed therapeutic.
Words seem an inept tool and inadequte to paint the picture of tragedy and helplessness I witnessed last night. If prayers do indeed work then they have been offered in sincerity. Blood donation and the like are too miniscule as acts worthy of lengthy depiction.
Vignettes from last nights experiences which define the social fabric of Mumbai:
Commuters stranded outside stations, with no possible means of transport to reach their destinations, offered to be dropped by car pools of residents, braving the rain and discomforts of snarled traffic.
Sights of injured and those grieving for the loss of dear ones..on the one hand, and samaritans slowly finding their way around offering refreshments, help and solace on the other.
A statement made by M.N. Singh ” Citizens should forget what happened today.. but the Police and Administration have to remember every detail”
Overheard: The culprits of the serial blasts of ‘93 have yet not been punished, despite 80 or more arrests, what hope is there this time around?
Train services resumed. People heralding a new day with renewed vigour. All schols,colleges and offices functioning.
Those injured were brought to hospitals by total strangers. Near Bandra, a predominantly Muslim area of Behrampada, the residents went all out to offer help and assistance and transported the injured to hospitals of the vicinity.
Blood donors, arrived in large numbers.
Indomitable spirit of Mumbaikars starkly represented by commuters never-say-die attitude, defying the terrorists to come out in the open..thus spoke a man who had extricated the dead from the carriage at Khar.
Taxis and autos refusing fare from stranded commuters.
Such a blur of images one after the other.All proving that the bond between Mumbaikars in times of crisis is exemplary.
Municipal Corporation has offered burial and creamation free of cost. Chief Minister offers free treatment to the injured.
Official release of those dead at 172 and injured at 450. However, on speaking to eye witnesses,its clear that numbers are much higher.
Finger of suspicion on LeT as yet..perhaps with aid from SIMI & Al qaeda
The timing of the strikes read as 6.24, 6.25, 6.26, 6.30, 6.31 and the ones at Bandra and Mahim between 6.25 & 6.30. Speaks of impeccable planning . These trains were chosen with the specific purpose of derailing relief efforts and putting Western railway majorly off track.
The Sena considered their strongest opponent was kept busy with the defacement of ‘Meenatai’s’( Bal Thackerays deceased wife) statue!! Does seem like a possibility.
More alacrity was needed by police, post blast apart from sharper vigilance from intelligence,pre blast, whatever they may claim on hindsight now.
The ire of the citizen of Mumbai is apparent from the resentment it holds against the advent of the political bigwigs timing their arrival in Mumbai amidst this mayhem. Apart from the fact that security and police duties get split, onus for the propriety of their stay being incumbent on the agencies, it also amounts to blockages in traffic. On Tuesday night when the arterial roads to and fro the airport were already facing bottlenecks due to heavy traffic load and rains, the cavalcade of Ministers cars further added to the devastating situation. It has been rumoured that deaths occurred in Ambulances stuck in traffic jams.
What purpose do they hope to solve with visit at such times is debatable. Unless media attention and glare is under consideration.
Two bytes from a news channel that stirred up emotions:
First was a segment of relatives holding up photographs of their dear ones who had not returned home. Some of them could hardly verbalise even the barest details..all they did was hold up the snaps with pleading in their eyes..tragic!!
Second was a scene from Khar Station, where the first blast had taken place..commuters asking for permission from the anchor to pass on a message to the terrorists " Unko bolo hum darne wale nahin hain..woh log bewakoof hain jo mumbai walon ko itna kamzor samajhte hain.. hum aise hi roz train me jaayenge".."Tell those terrorists that they cannot cower us down.. they are stupid to believe that they could frighten Mumbaikars.. we will continue to travel by train as before"..
Latest news on the identity of terrorists is as follows:
A gang of 15, possibly from SIMI. The leader is a certain Zaibuddin Ansari from Malegaon who has since disappeared. The bombs were planted at Churchgate and were operated through Remote and timer. The gang had fled form the scene before blasts..which eliminates the theory of suicide bombings.
Update: Total number of dead reported 200 and injured 750..officially
Intelligence agencies suspect that Rdx had been supplied by LeT, while the execution was carried out by SIMI. They point out however that members or groups are in fact a blurred demarcation today. easily interchangeable.
Message for Terrorists from Indians all over the world:
When the going gets tough, Mumbai gets going
WE are a country of 1 billion, How many bombs do you have?
You may blast us but cannot beat us
Cross posted and updated at Indianpad