Speculation in the wake of a dark day for India


by Rohin
29th October, 2005 at 10:52 pm    

With floods in the south east and a train crash killing over 200, the three bombs in Delhi this afternoon topped off a truly depressing day for India.

I have only ever called two cities home, Delhi and London. Only months apart, both have been hit by organised, synchronised bomb attacks. Both the London bombings and the Delhi bombings targetted innocents with cold precision. The London bombs took out commuters, today’s three explosions killed unsuspecting shoppers, eagerly preparing for the festive season of Diwali and Eid in crowded shopping areas.

The BBC and other agencies currently put the death toll at 50-55 and rising and Star News (an Indian channel) estimates over 200 are seriously injured.

It really is eerily similar to the events of 7/7 and indeed, had the Indian police not defused a fourth bomb, the two terrorist attacks would have been even more alike. The shell-shocked walking wounded roam the streets and the city’s hospitals struggle to cope. Delhi, as so many times through its recent history (2001 parliament attack, the Red Fort attack and serial theatre blasts in May this year), once again feels fear return to its streets.

I hesitate to say too much at this juncture, as it is mere speculation. Manmohan Singh has confirmed that the government are investigating some clues, but would not comment further at this stage. Unconfirmed reports in The Hindu claim two Kashmiris have been detained, but other sources simply confirm that at least ten people have been detained by New Delhi police. However a few thoughts have come to mind with regard to the possible motives for this attack.

Of course the proximity to Eid and Diwali seems significant – most probably so that the group behind this could inflict the most amount of injuries and garner more publicity. They wished to strike whilst their target’s guard was down.

The other seemingly obvious clue as to the timing of the bombs are the current unprecedented peace talks between India and Pakistan. We can only hope these aren’t derailed by this unfortunate tragedy. One of the talks’ main objectives was to discuss and agree upon a policy of opening up the Line of Control (LoC) to facilitate relief efforts in the aftermath of the Kashmir earthquake.

Yet another possible motive would be to coincide with the verdict of the Red Fort attack case, which was due on Saturday but has now been postponed to Monday. Two jawans and a civilian were killed by Lashkar militants on December 22nd, 2000. Mohammad Ashfaq, a Pakistani, along with his Indian conspirators Nazir Ahmed Qasid, Farooq Ahmad Qasid, Rehmana Yousuf Farooqi (Ashfaq’s wife), Babar Mohsin Baghwala, Sadaqat Ali and Matloob Alam are standing trial, with some calling for Ashfaq to face the death sentence.

Chief suspects, at this stage, would seem to be the Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Taiyaba group, responsible for not only the Red Fort attack, but also the 2001 Parliament attack and the Ram Temple assault in Ayodhya, when they used Delhi as a base. Indian officials are probing a Kashmir connection – yet another coincidence of note is the recent resignation of the chief minister of Jammu & Kashmir, Mufti Mohammad Sayeed. Large amounts of RDX have been found in Delhi in recent months, so it almost seems as though it was simply a matter of time before some was used – although the exact nature of the explosives has not been confirmed.

We should not lose sight of the fact that, at this stage, natural disasters have killed more than all three of these bombs, on both sides of the border. I not only hope this does not adversely affect the border discussions (I don’t believe it will) and just as importantly, I hope that attention is not diverted from where it is needed most.

Update: A previously unknown group calling itself Islami Inquilabi Mahaz (revolution) has claimed responsibility in calls to reporters in Srinagar, Kashmir.

“Such attacks will continue until India pulls out all its troops from the state [of Kashmir]“


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29 Comments below   |  

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  1. j0nz — on 30th October, 2005 at 12:00 am  

    At least some good news in that a quick thinking bus driver, conductor and passengers saved many lives.

  2. jamal — on 30th October, 2005 at 12:31 am  

    This is very bad, so many pointless deaths.

    Whats also bad is that it has just been agreed that the Kashmir border would be opended to aid earthquake victims and this bombing may now caused this agreement to be quashed.

    http://english.aljazeera.net/NR/exeres/9E76D468-276E-4C3F-A51A-E789B1A3D43E.htm

  3. jamal — on 30th October, 2005 at 12:36 am  

    Just an afterthought. Maybe the significance of the timing of the attack is that those against peace on both perceived the prospective earthquake relief agreement as a first step towards peace and therefore scuppered the plans?

  4. Sunny — on 30th October, 2005 at 2:06 am  

    I agree. I think the bomb is precisely to derail the process of peace between India and Pakistan. The terrorist groups would like nothing more than to keep the two sides fighting and therefore keep themselves in a position of influence.

    A very sad say for India :(

    Nice story j0nz, some bit of good news….

  5. Bijna — on 30th October, 2005 at 2:25 am  

    The Quaran clearly states there should be no bombings and beheadings during ramadan. So it’s slightly odd.

  6. Sunny — on 30th October, 2005 at 2:28 am  

    Well the Qu’ran also states don’t kill innocent people but that’s not stopped people before.

    By the way, some people in Chennai, which was my hometown for a good few years, have set up a blog to report on the floods hitting the town. It also has some pictures.

    http://chennaihelp.blogspot.com/

  7. raz — on 30th October, 2005 at 6:00 am  

    Have the Sikhs started up the Khalistan movement again – if so could be a lot more bloodshed to come. Also really pathetic how ANYTHING that happens in India gets blamed/linked to Pakistan in some way. Really, if India wants to move out of the dark ages, it needs to drop this 50 year obsession with its neighbour. Makes the Arab obsession with Israel look normal in comparison.

  8. archana — on 30th October, 2005 at 6:45 am  

    Raz,

    No one likes to make baseless comments. The bombings took place exactly on the day of verdict for those who attacked red fort five yrs back.

    They targeted the same day which for them fell on a weekend and during the celebration rush and hence they cuased more chaos.The group is linked with kashmir milittants.

    And for those of you who wanted to know if rdx was used. Yes, it was it was on news today in case u missed it.since it went off in a rickshaw it caused less damage thankfully.

  9. terry — on 30th October, 2005 at 10:36 am  

    “The Quaran clearly states there should be no bombings and beheadings during ramadan. So it’s slightly odd.”

    How inconsiderate of these terrorists! They should have waited til after ramadan to carry out the attack!

  10. Bijna — on 30th October, 2005 at 12:16 pm  

    > Well the Qu’ran also states don’t kill innocent
    > people but that’s not stopped people before.

    Obviously, the problem is the definition of innocent.

    According to Islam, non-Muslims are haram,
    just like pigs and camel shit. So non-Muslims
    are unter-menschen.

    Until there is a fatwa saying that Muslims and
    non-Muslims are equal, how can non-Muslims
    be innocent?

    > They should have waited til after ramadan
    > to carry out the attack!

    Yes, see this quote:

    Quran, Sura 9:5

    “And when the sacred months are passed,
    kill those who join other gods with God wherever
    ye shall find them; and seize them, besiege them,
    and lay wait for them with every kind of ambush:
    but if they shall convert, and observe prayer,
    and pay the obligatory alms, then let them
    go their way, for God is gracious, merciful.

  11. Col. Mustafa — on 30th October, 2005 at 12:23 pm  

    I don’t get it anymore, what exactly do these terrorists want?
    I mean they don’t even like the fact that there could be a possibility of peace between pakistan and india.

    It most probably is muslim terrorists, even though its not clear atm.
    And its also very sad that innocent lives once again are being taken.
    But its more sad because of whats recently happened in india and pakistan.
    I dont even wanna understand the twisted fuckfaces that decided to do this, cos theres no morals there whatsoever.

  12. Bijna — on 30th October, 2005 at 12:31 pm  

    > I don’t get it anymore, what exactly do these terrorists want?

    They are preparing for their after-live.
    Remember those 72 virgins?

    Mohammed once stated that those
    who kill infidels will not only please Allah,
    but will even live in a higher heaven.

    Read the book “The Politically Incorrect Guide to
    Islam (And the Crusades)” by Robert Spencer.

  13. Col. Mustafa — on 30th October, 2005 at 12:37 pm  

    Read the quran yourself you silly fool.
    Not what some twat has published to make some money of it due to public demand.

    Interpretation, works in many ways.
    So you can dumb terrorists using it for thier own purposes as well as so called educated fools trying to make a mockery of it too.
    You take it in the context of when it was written.

    Second of all don’t quote stuff from the quran and relate it to the cowardly fools that did this bombing.
    They dont deserve it.

  14. Bijna — on 30th October, 2005 at 12:43 pm  

    Translators of the Quran are traitors, right?

  15. raz — on 30th October, 2005 at 12:44 pm  

    Especially when it isn’t even known if this was Sikhs, Hindus, Muslims or one of the countless other terrorist groups which infest India.

  16. Col. Mustafa — on 30th October, 2005 at 12:50 pm  

    “Translators of the Quran are traitors, right?”

    What the hell are you going on about?
    Traitors to who, me?

    Its pretty simple, leave the quran out of it as the people that carried these bombings out don’t have a clue at what our prophet(pbuh) was going on about.
    By the looks of it neither do you.

    Your just using as it as an excuse for them and so you can blame something as well; guess what the terrorists were doing?
    hmmm using it also in the same way.

  17. Bijna — on 30th October, 2005 at 1:05 pm  

    I have read interviews with suicide bombers.
    They always quote the Quran.

    As long as the terrorists are quoting the Quran,
    taling about the terrorists will also involve
    talking about the Quran.

  18. Rohin — on 30th October, 2005 at 1:16 pm  

    Raz, you are right – no point jumping to conclusions. As I said, I was just speculating. But your statement:

    Also really pathetic how ANYTHING that happens in India gets blamed/linked to Pakistan in some way. Really, if India wants to move out of the dark ages, it needs to drop this 50 year obsession with its neighbour.

    is only half-right. I have always argued that India should abandon its obsession with Pakistan as Pakistan has fallen far behind India in most ways. However, that is in economic terms. Strategically and from a defence point of view, Pakistan still looms large as, whether you like it or not, there ARE a great deal of terrorist attacks on Indian soil carried out by Pakistani militants. It is wrong to immediately blame Pakistan for terrorist attacks, but it does frequently prove to be right.

    And guys, let’s not get in argument about the Koran and whatnot please. Accept that terrorists of any religion have deviated from their religion’s teachings wildy.

  19. Col. Mustafa — on 30th October, 2005 at 1:18 pm  

    Youv’e read interviews with failed suicide bombers or men that will be suicide bombers.
    Not suicide bombers themselves.
    And you actually take the word of a man that has either tried or will take his own life because he thinks he’s gonna get 75 virgins or whatever when he eventually reaches heaven.

    Well how thick are you?
    If your gonna get your research from dimwitted morons then you’ll also think like one.
    The fact that there killing themselves in the name of religion kinda gives it away, that they don’t know what there going on about.
    Im not gonna talk about this anymore as its ruining the thread.

  20. Ahmad — on 30th October, 2005 at 1:48 pm  

    Oh no!!!!

    The trolls have made their way into pickled politics aswell.

    We are doomed!

  21. Sunny — on 30th October, 2005 at 2:00 pm  

    Bijna – That is very obtuse. People have always mid-interpreted holy scriptures throughout history for their own use.
    I don’t need to give you examples because there are so many. The Anglican church in the UK itself is having issues over accepting homosexual Bishops becuase of interpretation too.

    So thanks, but quoting the Qu’arn out of context, to try and demonstrate that you’ve got some deep understanding of Islam won’t work here. It might work on Dhimmiwatch, where they love that sort of thing, but not here. So please, just don’t bother. It’s disrespectful and I will be forced to delete your comments.

  22. Bijna — on 30th October, 2005 at 2:03 pm  

    The bombings have been claimed by
    the Muslims group Inquilab (revolution).

    Anyone surprised, raise your hand.

  23. Jeet — on 30th October, 2005 at 2:35 pm  

    Pickled Politics

    You got a mention from Nick Cohen in todays Observer

    http://observer.guardian.co.uk/comment/story/0,6903,1604791,00.html

  24. j0nz — on 30th October, 2005 at 4:01 pm  

    Could a religious ideology be culpable? I think so. However we should wait for the facts to emerge.

  25. j0nz — on 30th October, 2005 at 5:50 pm  

    Islamic militants claim repsonsibility

  26. Rohin — on 30th October, 2005 at 5:56 pm  

    Thank you Bijna and j0nz – I updated the post at about lunchtime (at the bottom of the piece).

  27. shihab — on 31st October, 2005 at 12:47 pm  

    As someone who has read the Quuran in three different languages (fiorst in arabic because I was forced to: pointless, then in bengali: biased translation to the max, then finally in english) I can conclude: It is a nice bit of poetry (though badly in need of a sub-editor) that works as a good self-help book for men who want to better themselves and perhaps, if they will to, conquer the world. If you’re a woman and you say ‘no, no, it teaches you to respect women’ you haven’t read it at all. It is deeply sexist, homophobic and intolerant of other faiths.

    As you quoted it binji: “kill those who join other gods with God wherever ye shall find them; and seize them, besiege them, and lay wait for them with every kind of ambush: but if they shall convert, and observe prayer,
    and pay the obligatory alms, then let them
    go their way, for God is gracious, merciful”

    Our god is not merciful. Using the teachings of the Qu’uran is more than relevant to what’s going on here.

    A wise time for everyone to read it just to see

  28. Col. Mustafa — on 31st October, 2005 at 8:36 pm  

    The Quran was written a while back now wasn’t it.
    It applies to a different time and environment.
    I read the Quran but i took the aspects of it that i felt were right and in most cases obvious for the time and place i live in.
    If others are not doing that and instead are using the Quran to justify that what there doing is right, whose fault is that?

    The people reading it, or interpreting it, or the Quran.
    As sunny has already mentioned that theres thousands of religious scriptures throughout history that have been used in a similar way.

    “Our god is not merciful. Using the teachings of the Qu’uran is more than relevant to what’s going on here.”

    Its relevant if you acknowledge it, but by acknowledging it your kinda saying they bombed these people cos the quran kinda tells them to.
    Im figuring the bombers might of read the quran with others factors swaying them.
    Maybe with revenge and hate flowing through them in the first place.
    Who knows whether they even read the Quran and instead just read the parts that thier m8s pointed them to as they were the parts relevant to them.
    I dont know, but yes it has some relevance but not alot.
    These bombers had issues before reading the Quran, i can assure you that.
    They did not learn about thier religion and then decide yeh, suicide bombing is a healthy career.
    They might think its a healthy career option if the person teaching them is completely nuts, but thats why there are only a few suicide bombers out of the millions of muslims in the world.
    When it comes down to it, killing innocent people is wrong no matter what.
    In the recent situation of India and pakistan having to deal with so much already i think its disgusting to even think about killing innocent people let alone carrying it out.
    I can assure you that these people only took what they wanted out of the Quran and didn’t plan the attacks according to the Quran.

  29. Mokum — on 31st October, 2005 at 9:40 pm  

    I can assure you that these people only took what they wanted out of the Quran

    Too right.

    Using the teachings of the Qu’uran is more than relevant to what’s going on here.

    Too right.

    Spot the itjihad. As any honest and fair scholar should tell you, this process will not be pleasant, but, well, it sure beats jihad.

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