Heart of darkness

Wednesday's bomb blast outside the Delhi High Court is just one more on the list of terror attacks in the capital city

May 25, 2011> There was a low intensity blast outside the Delhi High Court complex at 1.15 pm on May 25, 2011. A crude bomb exploded outside the complex. There were no casualties reported. The explosion took place close to a silver Ford Figo car in a parking bay behind the court premises. "A small packet was kept close to a car in the parking near gate number seven of the Delhi High Court," said Special Commissioner of Police Dharmendra Kumar. "The car with registration number DL4C AF 7935 suffered only superficial damage. It was a low intensity blast. It is an open access area and anyone can come here. The lawyer to whom the car belonged had nothing to do with the blast," Kumar said. Delhi High Court Bar Association secretary DK Sharma alleged conspiracy behind the blast and sought better security. The case is being investigated by the Delhi police.

Security Check: National Security Guard (NSG) experts with sniffer dogs
at the site of the bomb blast in New Delhi

September 19, 2010> The Jama Masjid attack occurred on September 19, 2010 when two gunmen opened fire at a stationary tourist bus purportedly carrying a TV crew from Taiwan at 11:24 pm, near Gate 3 of Jama Masjid. About three hours later a car parked approximately 150 metres from the spot caught fire, apparently caused by a minor blast. An explosive-laden device was planted in a Maruti 800 car, parked near the mosque. The car had approximately 20 litres of fuel in its tank, which would have caused considerable damage if it had succeeded in exploding, but bomb timers failed and it did not go off. The attack is significant because it took place on the second anniversary of the Batla House encounter on September 19, 2008, in which Atif Amin, the chief bomber of the Indian Mujahideen was killed. This had dealt a severe blow to the group, which had been blamed earlier for many terror attacks. The Delhi police, who was investigating the case, is so far without a clue. According to various reports, an award of Rs 50 lakh has been announced for anyone, who can give a clue about those behind the incident.

Wounded: A man injured in the blast is brought to the trauma centre
at Dr Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital in New Delhi

September 27, 2008> The September 27, 2008 Delhi blast in Mehrauli's flower market left three people dead. According to reports some 23 people were injured. The explosion occurred at 2:15 pm. Initially, there were reports of two persons, including a nine-year-old boy, being killed in the attack. However, the next day the death toll rose to three. The bombing took place exactly two weeks after the five serial blasts in Delhi on 13 September 2008. The bomb was made of ammonium nitrate, ammonium chloride, potassium chlorate, nails and shrapnel, police said. Miscreants carried bomb wrapped in newspaper, the police informed. It did not have any timer, detonator or RDX. The investigating agencies said they were probing the possible role of some notorious Bangladeshi gangs operating in the capital.

After the blast: Home Minister P Chidambaram visits the blast site
outside the Delhi High Court . PICS/AFP

September 13, 2008> September 13, 2008 Delhi bombings were a series of five synchronised bomb blasts that took place within a span of few minutes at various locations in Delhi, India. At least 30 people killed and over 100 were injured during the bomb blasts. The Islamist "Indian Mujahideen" sent an e-mail to all major TV channels, informing them of the blasts just after the first one occurred.

April 14, 2006> On April 14, 2006, two explosions occurred in the courtyard of Jama Masjid, a 17th-century mosque in Old Delhi (India). The first blast took place at 17:26 local time right in the middle of the courtyard next to Wazoo Khana which comprises a pond where worshippers wash their hands and feet before offering prayers, and the second a few metres away seven minutes later. At least 13 people were injured in the blasts. The blasts took place just before the time of Azaan. The explosives were reportedly carried in plastic bags. The explosions did not cause any damage to the mosque. It was speculated that these blasts might be linked with coincidental six grenade attacks in Srinagar, that took place the same day.

October 29, 2005> These Delhi bombings killed 62 people and injured at least 210 in three explosions. The bombings came only two days before Diwali. The bombs were triggered in two markets, in Central and South Delhi and in a bus in the Govindpuri area in the south of the city. Investigators believe the Kashmir separatist/ Islamic terrorist group Lashkar-e-Taiba was behind the attacks.

May 22, 2005> Bomb explosions rocked two cinema halls in Delhi injuring at least 40 people. One person succumbed to injuries in the hospital, reports said. The blasts took place in Liberty Cinema in central Delhi and Satyam Multiplex in Patel Nagar. Both cinemas were screening the controversial Sunny Deol starrer Jo Bole So Nihal at the time of the explosions. The first explosion was reported at Liberty Cinema at 8.25pm. The fissile material was under the fifth row of the rear stall, police officials said. In Satyam multiplex, the blast was reported at 8.40 pm and was believed to have taken place in a bathroom.

December 13, 2001> It was one of the most audacious attacks in the world. Five gunmen infiltrated the Parliament House in a car with Home Ministry and Parliament labels. While both the Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha had been adjourned 40 minutes prior to the incident, many Members of Parliament (MPs) and government officials such as then Home Minister L K Advani and Minister of State (Defence) Harin Pathak were believed to have still been in the building at the time of the attack. (Then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Opposition Leader Sonia Gandhi had already left). The gunmen slammed their vehicle into the car of then Indian Vice President Krishan Kant (who was in the building at the time), got out and began firing. The Vice President's (VP) guards and security personnel shot back at the terrorists and then started closing the gates of the compound. Lady constable Kamlesh Kumari was first to spot the terrorist squad. One gunman, wearing a suicide vest, was shot dead, the vest exploding. The other four gunmen were also killed. Five policemen, a Parliament security guard, and a gardener were killed, and 18 others were injured. The Indian Government initially accused Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) and Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) to be involved in this attack. However, LeT denied any involvement in the incident. In December 2002, four JeM members were caught by Indian authorities and put on trial. All four were found guilty of playing various roles in the incident, although the fourth, Afsan Guru/Navjot Sandhu, wife of Shaukat Hussain Guru (one of the accused) was found guilty of a minor charge of concealing knowledge of conspiracy. Mohammad Afzal Guru,was the only accused to be awarded the death penalty for the incident. In 2003, India said its forces had killed the mastermind of the attack in Kashmir.
February 27, 2000> Eight injured in blast at Paharganj.

June 3, 1999> At least 27 injured in blast at Chandni Chowk.

Dec 30, 1997> Four people killed and 30 injured in blast near Punjabi Bagh.

Nov 30, 1997> Three people killed and 73 injured in twin blasts in Chandni Chowk.

Oct 26, 1997> At least 34 people killed and one injured in twin bomb blasts in Karol Bagh market.

Oct 18, 1997> Twin blasts in Rani Bagh market left one dead, 23 hurt.

Oct 10, 1997> One person killed and 18 injured in blast in Kingsway Camp near Delhi University's north campus.

Oct 1, 1997> Two bomb explosions in Sadar Bazar area left 30 injured.

May 23, 1996> At least 16 people killed in bomb blasts in Lajpat Nagar's Central Market.

To the manner yawn

Cliches and inane statements that people do not want to hear, post another terror attack

1  It was a medium-intensity blast, it was a high-intensity blast, it was a low-intensity blast: That kind of jargon means nothing to the public. All they care about are if people are injured or dead, the much touted 'intensity' is inane.

2  The nation/city/state is on 'high alert'. This phrase has been used so often, it has lost meaning.  Nobody can comprehend what is `high alert?' Does it mean there will be more nakabandis? More screening at public places? What exactly is high alert? The words have become laughable, they are being used so often now.

3  This is a cowardly/dastardly act. Attributed to a number of politicians post bomb blasts this statement is completely trite and one does not need to be a Sherlock Holmes to understand this. Elementary my dear Watson, no unnecessarily my dear Watson.

4  We will bring those responsible for this act to justice. The public has been hearing this for a long time but not backed up by action, it evinces scorn and ridicule.

5  Politicians `review' security situations on the ground. Similar confusion about this one. What are security situations on the ground? What kind of reviews do they mean? Are there security situations in the sky and on the ground? Are they different? So many questions. No answers.

6  Netas 'rush' to the spot where the blast has occurred. Why do they always `rush' to blast sites? What do they mean by 'rushed'?

7  Security has been `beefed' up post the attack. Why is security always beefed up post attacks? Was there security pre-attacks? What does beefed up mean exactly? That the number of security personnel has gone up? Or the nature of scrutiny?

8  We will not be intimidated by terror. The statement is frequently made by people who have not lost anybody or been injured in the blasts. In fact, the layperson is intimidated by terror. It is not an act of defiance that they continue to use public transport or go to work. It is because they have no other choice.

9  We are probing all angles, is a frequently heard statement post terror attacks but it is like saying, the sun rises in the east. Obviously, one would need to probe all angles, whatever those angles might be.

10  Finally, there is one more line, which is bandied about post attacks. This one is: we will get vital clues from footage. We have also heard that one before. Suddenly though, the footage goes missing or is grainy, or the CCTVs have inevitably malfunctioned. 

Afzal Guru's shadow falls long
An email received by different media organisations said that the Harkat-ul-Jihadi (HuJI) takes responsibility for the Delhi blast. HUJI is a Pakistan-based terrorist group. The email states,  'We owe the responsibility of today's blasts at High Court, Delhi... our demand is that Afzal Guru's death sentence should be repealed immediately else we would target major high courts & THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA.........."  Afzal Guru has been sentenced to death by the Supreme Court for his role in the attack on the Indian Parliament in 2001. His mercy petition that asks for his sentence to be commuted to life imprisonment, is pending with President Pratibha Patil.  The Home Ministry has reportedly recommended that it be rejected.

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