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Remembering 2006 Mumbai train bombings: A city’s resilience

Updated on: 11 July,2024 04:39 AM IST  |  Mumbai
mid-day online correspondent |

While remembering 2006 Mumbai train bombings, we also reflect on the resilience and unity displayed by Mumbai and its residents in the aftermath.

Remembering 2006 Mumbai train bombings: A city’s resilience

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Remembering 2006 Mumbai train bombings: A city’s resilience

The 2006 Mumbai train bombings were a concerted terrorist strike that had a lasting impact on the city. On July 11, 2006, seven bombs exploded on Mumbai's suburban trains during the evening rush hour, killing 209 people and wounding nearly 700.

While remembering 2006 Mumbai train bombings, we also consider the strength and solidarity demonstrated by Mumbai and its citizens in the aftermath.

The tragic day

On the evening of July 11, 2006, a devastating terrorist attack targeted Mumbai's bustling local train network, which serves as the city's lifeline. Seven strong explosives exploded between 6:24 and 6:35 pm in first-class cabins of trains on Mumbai's Western Line, one of the busiest. The bombs were packaged in pressure cookers and placed inside bags, then detonated at rush hour when trains were full of passengers going home from work.

The explosions resulted in horrible scenes of destruction and pandemonium. Train carriages were ripped apart, leaving the injured scattered across the rails and stations. The blasts took place at Matunga Road, Mahim Junction, Bandra, Khar Road, Jogeshwari, Borivali, and Mira Road stations. Emergency services were quickly overwhelmed, and residents, railway staff, and fellow commuters sprang into action to help the victims.

Despite the initial shock and disorientation, the Mumbai residents demonstrated amazing courage and compassion. Strangers helped each other by administering first aid, arranging hospital transportation, and soothing the injured. Hospitals throughout the city were overwhelmed with casualties, and medical personnel worked feverishly to treat the injured.

The investigation into the bombings was quick. Indian officials blamed the attacks on the terrorist group Lashkar-e-Taiba and the Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI). The attackers utilised sophisticated timing devices to guarantee that the bombs detonated practically simultaneously, increasing their impact. Several arrests were made in the months that followed, and in September 2015, 12 persons were found guilty of their roles in the bombs, five of whom were sentenced to death.

A city’s resilience

In the face of such a horrific attack, Mumbai's resilience shone through. The city, known for its sense of unity, did not allow fear to paralyse it. The next day, Mumbai's trains resumed service, and people went about their everyday lives, determined not to be intimidated by terrorism. This perseverance became a defining feature of the city and its inhabitants.

The explosions also resulted in significant adjustments to Mumbai's security systems. Surveillance and security measures were strengthened at train stations, and attempts were made to improve emergency response systems. Public awareness of safety and vigilance was raised, and numerous activities were implemented to provide better preparedness for potential future dangers.

Remembering 2006 Mumbai train bombings' victims

Every year, on July 11, Mumbai honours the victims of the 2006 train bombings. Memorials and services are held to remember those who died and to recognise the bravery and goodwill of those who assisted during the crisis. It is a day of meditation and memory that emphasises the value of unity in the face of hardship.

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