Friday, 28 November 2008

India - The Terror Target

March 12, 1993: A series of thirteen explosions in Mumbai, then called Bombay, resulted in 257 deaths and over 700 injuries. The blasts were orchestrated by the organized crime syndicate called the D-Company, headed by Dawood Ibrahim.

Feb. 14, 1998: Coimbatore bombings: 46 deaths, 200 wounded as a result of 13 bomb attacks in 11 places.

Oct. 1, 2001: Militants attack Jammu & Kashmir Assembly complex in Srinagar, killing about 35. The Muslim extremist group Jaish-e-Mohammed was allegedly involved.

Dec. 13, 2001: Attack on the Indian Parliament complex in New Delhi led to the killing of a dozen people and 18 injured. Pakistan-based terror groups were blamed for the attack.

Sept. 24, 2002: Akshardham temple in Gujarat: The first major hostage taking since Sept. 11 in the U.S.; 31 people were killed and another 79 wounded.

May 14, 2002: Militants attack on an Army camp near Jammu, killing more than 30 people.

March 13, 2003: A bomb attack on a commuter train in Mumbai killed 11.
Aug. 25, 2003: Twin car bombings in Mumbai killed at least 52 people and injured 150. Indian officials blamed a Pakistan-based terror outfit.

Aug. 15, 2004: An explosion in the northeastern state of Assam killed 16 people, mostly school children.

July 5, 2005: Militants attack the Ram Janmabhoomi complex, the site of the destroyed Babri Mosque at Ayodhya in Uttar Pradesh.

Oct. 29, 2005: Three powerful serial blasts rocked the busy shopping areas of south Delhi, two days before the Hindu festival of Diwali, killing 59 and injuring 200. A Pakistan-based terrorist outfit, the Islamic Inquilab Mahaz (believed to have links with Lashkar-e-Taiba) claimed responsibility.

March 7, 2006: A series of bombings in the holy city of Varanasi killed at least 28 and injured 101. Indian police put the blame on some Pakistan-based terror outfits.

July 11, 2006: Seven bomb blasts occurred at various places on the Mumbai Suburban Railway, killing 200. Investigations revealed that terror outfits with a base in Pakistan were behind the blasts.

Sept. 8, 2006: At least 37 people were killed and 125 were injured in a series of bomb blasts in the vicinity of a mosque in Malegaon, Maharashtra. The blasts were followed by an explosion and most of the people killed were Muslim pilgrims. The students Islamic Movement of India was responsible.

May 18, 2007: A bombing during Friday prayers at Mecca Masjid, Hyderabad, killed 13 people. Four were killed by Indian police in the rioting that followed.

May 26, 2007: Six people killed and 30 injured in a bomb blast in India's northeastern city of Guwahati.

June 10, 2007: Gunmen killed 11 people in separate incidents of firing in Manipur's border town of Moreh.

Aug. 25, 2007: Forty-two people killed and 50 injured in twin explosions at a crowded park and a popular eatery in Hyderabad by Harkat-ul-Jehad-i-Islami (HuJI) activist.

May 13, 2008: A series of six explosions tore through Jaipur, a popular tourist destination in the Rajasthan state in western India, killing 63 people and injuring more than 150.

July 25, 2008: Seven blasts in quick succession across the south Indian tech city of Bangalore killed one and injured more than 150 people.

July 26, 2008: Serial blasts in the western Indian city of Ahmedabad killed 45 people and injured more than 150. A group calling itself Indian Mujahideen claimed responsibility.

Sept. 13, 2008: Five bomb blasts in New Delhi's popular shopping centers left 21 people dead and more than 100 injured. The Indian Mujahideen claimed responsibility.

Sept. 27, 2008: A blast in a New Delhi flower market left one dead.

Oct. 30, 2008: Thirteen bomb blasts in India's northeastern state of Assam and three other towns left at least 61 people dead more than 300 injured.

Nov. 26, 2008: Terror siege rocks Mumbai; 157 killed and still counting, over 357 injured – battle still ensues

One would have thought that being the most terrorized nation in the world, India would’ve learnt to tackle the problem of terror and insurgency with an iron hand, but as the most recent terror strike on India’s financial capital has proved, our handling of terrorist situations is inadequate, inept, inefficient and leaves a lot to be desired.
It is absolutely shocking to see a city and a nation being held to ransom by a score of remorseless young men armed to the teeth with grenades, AK 47’s and other sophisticated weapons while our intelligence agencies are left clueless and our “esteemed leaders” are caught unprepared. India has failed miserably in protecting the lives of her citizens. The attacks also highlight India’s rapidly growing vulnerability to terrorist violence and points to a gaping hole in India’s anti-terror measures. We’re reactive rather than being sustained and proactive and our perpetually at loggerheads politicians have miserably failed to put national interest above their personal political agenda.

Our political class lacks spine. How else can we explain the lack of a strong will and a determined outlook to fight terror which has been plaguing our nation for over a decade and a half and has been the cause of loss of innumerable lives?
Our politicians cannot think beyond mud-slinging and one upmanship. No wonder they have no time to think about think about the development and well being of the nation, and seek to apportion blame rather than come up with defensive measures and a sustained policy to counter and minimize terror incidents. Our so called political leaders, who move around flanked by a bevy of guards, have failed to even come up with a law to keep the country safe from such outrageous attacks!

I am enraged! And so – I am sure are a million other citizens. How long? Just how long are innocent lives going to be allowed to be sacrificed at the altar of terrorism only due to the lack of a political will???!!! How long are we going to allow these shameless politicians to sabotage national well being for their personal agendas???!!!

I am absolutely livid and disgusted at the clich├ęs and speeches regularly doled out by our ministers. And what did I hear something about our “spirit” and “resilience”??? Sorry! but we are absolutely fed up! If our “indomitable spirit” and our “resilience” are an excuse for your inaction, then we no longer choose to be resilient!

It is time that our politicians understand this is war and do away with their brand of appeasement politics and stop their knee-jerk response to problems. We need more conviction and determination in our leaders – a conviction in their methods and a determination to protect the lives of it’s citizens – a conviction and determination that I see seriously lacking in today’s so called leaders who are more involved in the politics of separatism. What we need is not doling out of hollow words, but sustained action and sharp reflexes coupled with a determined leadership. A change in laws to facilitate quick actions and most importantly, upgradation of our defense forces – army, navy, air-force and the police – as well as our intelligence system in terms of skills, techniques, technologies and most importantly self esteem

As I post this, the firing at Taj continues. I hope and I pray that the casualties are less and that our commandoes come out unscathed. I salute our forces who have been fighting non-stop for the past 48 hours and still continue to do so, staking their lives for their nation and their fellow citizens. They are our real heroes, and our entire nation is grateful to them. My heart goes out tho those who lost their loved ones and there is a lingering thought that says.;"when, where and who next? How long and How many attacks more to come?"

This was a single city. What if the terrorists plan such attacks simultaneously in multiple cities??? What is our preparedness???

I can only hope that our politicians do learn something from this incident and emerge wiser for the betterment of this nation and her people. The lives lost should not be forgotten and relegated to a statistic; they should serve as a constant reminder that such an outrageous attack is intolerable and should be crushed with an iron hand. Let our elected representatives be brought to brook and be held accountable - as Shobha De aptly put it - "Enough is Enough!"