July 11, 2006

Bomb Blasts Rock Mumbai

Filed under: India n Me,Most Read — Kaveeta Oberoi Kaul @ 6:42 pm
Tags: ,

Update: For November 26th 2008 terrorist attack read here.


This post was written in real time.. as events happened..and news of tragedy filtered in from 6.20 p.m. Began writing immediately ..first at Indian pad to share the horrific occurence and rape of Mumbai at the hands of terrorists once again. It angers, saddens, immobilises you from even thinking straight. Sensing the gruesomeness even vicariously tingles ones spine and sends shivers down, imagining the plight of the hapless victims.

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 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


  1. i believe you are fine kaveeta and so is ur family and friends…
    i am safe too…
    i wish the blame game will stop for one day and they will just take care of the basics first…

    Comment by silbil — July 11, 2006 @ 8:35 pm | Reply

  2. We are well nandini..Thanks..My friends too seem to be ok. Good that you are home too.

    cannot imagine the shock commuters must have experienced..crammed in a first class compartment, returning home and within a second all changes.

    Where is the solution.. its boggling really.. who do you trust?

    Comment by Kaveetaa Kaul — July 11, 2006 @ 8:43 pm | Reply

  3. my dad still wannz to hitch a trip to leh via kashmir by this month end… i guess he still has that arrogance.. sigh..
    trust? trust in the goodness of life, somehow for me the equilibrium is always reset.. hope all u folkz are safe n panic doesnt spread..

    our social n financial gaps n voids, between the rich n poor, literate n illL have worsened so much that problems n solutionz have become self conflicting!!
    or i guess army needs to be given the free hand to erase the menace once n for all!! bloody diplomacy, red tape n shit world politicz thrown to the wind!!
    why cant we just KILL the viruses once n for all??
    pseudo religious issuez n vote bank politicz- do hell with ’em!

    Comment by der Bergwind — July 11, 2006 @ 8:55 pm | Reply

  4. it is very very sad…
    some journalists are too shaken but are bravely reporting the incident still…
    some however are asking the routine questions…
    like can these be avoided in the future…PLEASE just after an hour of the blasts when i don’t even know whether my family members or friends are safe i don’t want to bloody know what the government will do the future…
    the rockstar railways minister is being questioned on WHAT THE PEOPLE SHOULD DO NOW?
    and he is saying , see we were not prepared for this and going on a friggin’ tirade about that…
    waht the fuck is wrong with him…
    tell the people who are stuck,tell their family members…
    tell them WHAT TO DO NOW ….
    shivraj patil is telling us that soniaji is very concerned and i told her what happened…god bless her but what is happening?
    you are absolutely right , as USUAL aam junta is valinatly helping each other , railway secutrity missing, police and fire brigade delayed….
    why do we pay taxes so that we don’t even get saved when some bomb blasts occur which for sure have happned beacuse of some high level political game and not because the ordinary citizen hates trhe muslims or the pakuistanis or the kashmiris…
    it is so disgusting!

    Comment by silbil — July 11, 2006 @ 9:10 pm | Reply

  5. what can we do to raise the morale of the city?
    and also show gratitude to the the angels in disguise all cab and auto drivers and the ordinary citizens who didn’t let the injured and their loved ones lose hope…
    and let’s also brainstorm and figure out what pro active measures we can take to make the authorities…BMC (rains), Police and the government take action.
    we can’t wait and let another person die.

    Comment by silbil — July 12, 2006 @ 10:20 am | Reply

  6. Dear Kaveetaa, I am so very sorry for all this horror and sorrow, in your beloved India!

    I could not believe the news when I turned on TV this morning.

    Please derive a small comfort in knowing; many of us in Canada are grieving and praying … and send our love.


    Comment by North — July 12, 2006 @ 10:48 am | Reply

  7. North,

    Thanks so much..The futility of an act of the kind and its innate purposelessness kills you. Attacking innocent home goers randomly..WHY? The one thing that has emerged once again is the camaraderie and caring the ctizens have shown for each other across all barriers. It brings a lump to your throat and reinforces that belief which claims that humans are basically good.

    Comment by Kaveetaa Kaul — July 12, 2006 @ 10:58 am | Reply

  8. der,

    Kashmir is an absoulte No-No at the moment. sadly, this is what the terrorists desired in the first place, to attack tourist traffic. They have accomplished it.

    As for the army taking over.. I donno.. it wouldnt have been necessarily the recourse had our Ministry been clear as to which way they wanna swing! Harsh action is long overdue. Not meant to understate th magnanimity of the problem. After all 9/11 happened too despite all.


    The average muslim here has been a source of help and dependable to the nth. This is my personal experience from last night. But terrorists belong to no religion really. They create one of their own.

    The ‘angels’ have been rewarded by just being there and doing what they have done. Though it would help underline the basic essential goodness in us if these stories now gain centrestage. It encourages, inspires and motivates others to look for that inside which is akin . I wish the media would glorify these people instead of the ‘lovers’ Prof Chaudhari 55yr.old and his student.

    As for pro active measures. Innumerable instances of initiatives can be cited. What is important is administrative will. To me what would be most effective is Privatisation. We have the recent example of the telecom sector. not so long ago, getting an MTNL connection was a boon. Today even my dhobi has a phone. Roads, repairs, have to be privatised for substantial change to occur. But here is where we can draw the line… cannot privatise the Govt:) Have to lump their decisions. Be vociferous, ruthless and relentless in criticism of their lapses, is all we can ensure.

    Media has been ‘there’ mostly..lets count our blessings. Ofcourse a lot more talent is required.. but then.. that is in all areas of life..(sigh)

    Comment by Kaveetaa Kaul — July 12, 2006 @ 11:38 am | Reply

  9. i love the slogan that u have put there…
    we need lines like these all over the city…
    the bastards need to learn a lesson

    Comment by silbil — July 12, 2006 @ 4:20 pm | Reply

  10. how many bombs do u have??

    still do we follow the gandhian path.. to test the fuel linez, to measure the mettle of the evil doers- just to stand tall over the ruins n say ‘satyameva jayate’?? i mean why cant we just root out the germz? we all know the root cause, we know where lies the nuclues of this horrendous (EVIL!) mitosis!!
    our peaceful standz, our tolerance have been abused time and again n still we try to bear it all!! WHY?
    media is still selling the goodie samaritans from among the masses.. the helping hand.. the examples of some mr. some mrs. xyz taking wounded to hospitals n docz remembering the oaths they had taken- suddenly!! its just bloody selling good human faith n sentimentz when its just tears all around…
    we have lost the sting to rise up n fight the shit that is hitting us… all worried about fancy issues n selfish endz.
    it was nice of ‘north’ to just give the mental support but this world still needz a bloody shake up to drive the dust n germz to oblivion!! no probz if we start off!

    n ya muslims of india hardly subscribe to the tricolour sentimentz! there are pockets of a mini pakistan in every city while the ‘netaz’ oil them for the votes spill! evil has no face, no form but assumes one like water in a jar… n this jar- thy name is islam- at least wen u talk of bombs flying off in india.
    its time we rattle those mindless, religiously motivated clan to a far of infinity-FOREVER!
    whatever happened to our lineage from the aryas, the rajputs, or even the moghuls… could do with some scripts of BRAVERY to add to modern indian (socio-) history

    Comment by der Bergwind — July 12, 2006 @ 4:34 pm | Reply

  11. der,

    sadly you seem to mistake the trees for the woods.

    Consider this. Muslims are an integral part of India. they cannot be wished away. Neither is it right to dub all as terrorists. Generalisations complicate issues and never offer solutions.

    Terrorism is a cult which is a religion and has its own altar and worshippers. They cannot be equalised with any. Islammaybe a different matter altogether.

    U.S.A. does not have as many Muslims residing there in comparison to India.. YET 9/11 took place.

    What do you suggest? Cull them? Terrorism has to be dealt with a heavy hand. i agree that it is the Governments which have not been held responsible and not made criminally responsible for the spread of terrorist activities that have plagued us for long now. Intelligence agencies have fouled up big time.

    But why should that maindcate or suggest that we be less humane towards those who have suffered. Discretion is the better part of valour. There was a wise crack I recall..’DO awy with begging.. KILL beggars’

    I am sure you get my drift. You mention bravery.. can you define it for me? How will we be any different from them should we adopt their methodology.

    Dont get me wrong. My idea is not pacifist. You have misconstrued it. But it suggests directing aggression where it deserves to be directed.

    Energy when improperly channelised runs the risk of getting dissipated. What good will that do? Valour, strength, bravery can amount to nought if not combined with intelligence, wisdom and balance.

    The enemy has to be struck at the roots. It is a hydra headed monster and beheading it will therfore lead only to loss of further lives and a replacement of the previous one.

    Comment by Kaveetaa Kaul — July 12, 2006 @ 7:19 pm | Reply

  12. i was moved to tears on reading this post and it happens again and again when i surf through the various news channels- images of an unidentified, critically injured man in excruciating pain- his fault? im still pondering. when i returned from school this afternoon, the first thing i did was to see if kavita mam and silbil were fine. glad that ul are.
    to yesterday’s incident- i have nothing to say. nothing at all and i mean it this time. its beyond me.
    these people as mam said truly have no religion. you see it is very simple. they have no god to fear.they have no loved ones, no families.
    i salute the spirit of bombay. it literally cries each time and then bounces back on its two feet to tread again.its a shame that readers digest voted it as the rudest city. it is infact the fastest and the most personally and humanly connected city and it is commendable to strike such a balance.
    let us not be foolish enough to expect anything from the authorities. the truth is- you as a human are there 4 me, and me for you. it ends there. the ratio is one is to one.
    sincere prayers for all those braving the front-
    And mam- we believe in evil at once, we believe in good only upon reflection-
    sad it is but we readily believe in what is more plausible- there is more evil than good in the world.
    take care and love you do

    Comment by Dim Poetry — July 12, 2006 @ 10:13 pm | Reply

  13. isn’t neha in mumbai too?
    is she fine?

    Comment by silbil — July 13, 2006 @ 1:32 am | Reply

  14. kav:

    let me share an excerpt:

    ‘ven though have many a strikes against me
    wrong side of the divide, wrong religion
    wrong appearance, wrong-wrong-wrong most things
    will say with least hesitation, they were lunatics
    any one who kills a civilian for any reason
    is a lunatic is a lunatic is a lunatic

    Comment by temporal — July 13, 2006 @ 7:36 am | Reply

  15. dim

    The earlier in life one sees its reality and nakedness, it helps serve as a buffer form impending disappointments. Look at it like this , that all we are responsible for is our own reactions. So outside of the periphery of 6 inches, we have no control. But within our boundaries we rule. Make the most of that space.

    luv u 2 .


    Neha is not here presently..I have recd mails from all the regulars, In India and outside..puja, sanjay, double, etc.


    A lunatic evokes sympathy.. since it denotes someone who is not responsible for his actions. But these people are doing it deliberately, in complete knowingness, pre-meditatedly, with planning and precision, to perpetrate MAXIMUM havoc and carnage. How do they even attempt to explain to themselves the justifications behind this mass murdering!!?? Like I said earlier, they have their own altars and thier own religion. It was touching to see our muslim brethren lend whole hearted support to those in need.

    To be fair to der, I do realise where his anger stems from. In India there are these pockets of Muslims who display anti-Indian sentiments, often. This is bound to upset youth , thier ideologies and idealism. While the more aware Muslim has integrated himself into Indianness, the others have made a conscious effort to alienate themselves. This gives rise to suspicion especially in situations where History pages are replete with stories of enmity hatred and intolerance..But I do believe that terrorism is a different kettle of fish altogether. The unfortunate part is that they are not the followers apparently of Islam. but are Muslims. I think there is a difference between the two:)

    Comment by Kaveetaa Kaul — July 13, 2006 @ 11:53 am | Reply

  16. Kav:

    …hmmmm…yes there are different kinds of lunatics…but not all kinds evoke sympathy…

    the ones i disdain, abhor and disown with passion sans an iota of sympathy are the ones who believe they alone are in possession of the Truth…they are the twisted folks who hear commands from thin air…who have no regard for god’s children…who respect neither law nor fellow civilians…it is these zombie lunatics i referred to

    Comment by temporal — July 13, 2006 @ 8:21 pm | Reply

  17. I realised that T.. you meant ‘lunatics’ in the strongest and most abhorrent connotation. I just was rigging you to use a more insinuating term:)

    Numerology is a pastime I indulge in from time to time.

    Consider this: 7/11/2006=26=8

    8 is considered the number of Saturn (shani) and the most difficult of numbers to endure.

    The previous debacle last year during the floods

    26=8 and combined numbers of 26/7/2005=40=4..which is the number of uranus and together 8&4 combination spells disaster.

    The earthquake in Kashmir occurred on 26th december..8 figures somehow every time.

    Just an aside.

    Comment by Kaveetaa Kaul — July 13, 2006 @ 8:45 pm | Reply

  18. kav:

    interesting thoughts on 8

    they seem to be so fixated with 11…any thoughts

    btw it is on my blog now

    Comment by temporal — July 13, 2006 @ 11:01 pm | Reply

  19. 11 by itself is not a fortunate reduces to 2 which is ruled by the moon. Therefore waxing and waning of the moon cycles can play havoc for those ruled by it…probably USA has a weak moon in its natal chart.. and for India Saturn is the harbinger of bad news.

    Normally the fortunate numbers are 1,3,5,6..rarely do we find major disasters happening on these days and days which add up to these numbers…

    I have tried to apply this science to life but not to the level of obsession..just basic guide lines.

    Comment by Kaveetaa Kaul — July 14, 2006 @ 6:34 pm | Reply

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