Bombs bay in Delhi

With pathetic regularity, a handful of delusional losers lived out their role-playing fantasy once again. We liked them better when they were living in mom’s basement, unemployed and pimply with their bidis, bhang and their 12-sided dice. ~50 dead and rising.

Paharganj market after the bombing

The first blast was reported at around 5.40 pm from the crowded Paharganj area, popular with foreign backpackers, and among the most congested areas in central Delhi close to the New Delhi Railway Station. The other explosion occurred soon after in Sarojini Nagar, another busy shopping area in south Delhi, popular among the middle class and even foreigners. Soon after there were reports of similar blasts from a few other areas, including Govindpuri, also a teeming market, in south Delhi.

“There was a huge explosion and the walls of a number of buildings came crashing down,” said Arun Gupta, secretary of the All Delhi Hotel Association. “It was so powerful the whole market started shaking,” added Gupta, who said he was barely 100 metres away from the blast spot at Pahargunj that was full of foreign tourists that throng its budget hotels and innumerable internet cafes…

The third blast occurred near the Kalkaji depot in Govindpuri, another extremely congested area… An official of the brand new Delhi Metro said the trains were running normally and commuters were being thoroughly frisked before entering the stations. [Link]

… [Paharganj] is outside the New Delhi railway station and is popular with travelers. Witnesses said that a woman and her infant were among the dead, as was one of the betel nut vendors who haunt the city’s markets… Mr. Chawla said he saw six or seven women lying on the ground, including one whose sari had caught fire. He grabbed bedsheets from a nearby vendor and used them to douse the flames. [Link]

Paharganj is a busy wholesale market, dotted with small, inexpensive hotels frequented by foreign travelers, particularly backpackers. [Link]

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Preliminary reports said that just about an hour ago, police had received a call about a bomb placed in a bag in the Paharganj area. But before the police could get to the place, the explosive went off. [Link]

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p>A bus driver or two saved countless lives:

The bus was travelling on the Outer Mudrika route when an unidentified man entered the bus from the Kalkaji Mandir stop. Later a passenger saw an unclaimed bag under a seat and alerted the driver Kuldeep and the conductor Budh Prakash. The driver stopped the bus and on checking he found explosives inside it. The driver and the conductor carried the bag outside the bus and threw it away which exploded immediately on landing. [Link]

There were at least 35-40 people travelling on a bus through Govindpuri when the conductor spotted a suspicious looking plastic bag on the bus that did not belong to any of the passengers. He immediately asked all the passengers to get out of the bus. “If it wasn’t for the conductor and the driver, all the passengers would’ve died, I want to know what happened to them, I am grateful to them,” said Afzal, an injured passenger. There were just five people on board when the blast rattled the bus… Both the driver and the conductor suffered injuries. The driver is in a critical state. [Link]

The police also recovered a bomb from a bank in the Chandni Chowk area, which was defused by the bomb squad immediately. [Link]

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p>Given its experience with bomb blasts, Bombay tightened security:

Security was stepped up at important locations like the US and Israeli consulates, the American Centre in the Cuff Parade area, the government secretariat at Nariman Point in south Mumbai and Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray’s residence in the western suburb of Bandra, officials said.

The elite anti-terrorist squad was providing security covers for all these locations as well as religious places like the Siddhi Vinayak Temple in central Mumbai’s Prabhadevi area. Additional barricades and sand bunkers have been installed to foil any attempt by suicide bombers, officials added. [Link]

In August 2003, car bombs a few minutes apart in a crowded bullion market and outside a hotel in India’s financial capital of Mumbai killed at least 44 people.

In 1993, a dozen explosions — including blasts at the Mumbai stock exchange, Air India’s Mumbai headquarters and the Centaur Hotel — killed more than 250 people and injured 500. [Link]

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p>Fortunately, we know that America’s good friend Musharraf toils ceaselessly to restrain these eunuchs. [/sarcasm]

News photos, full coverage.

Related post: Film bombs in Delhi

79 thoughts on “Bombs bay in Delhi

  1. Very sad indeed. My condolences to the Indians on here. I have a couple of close friends from Delhi, and they were fortunately not in the area. However, I now await the eventual finger pointing. Lets just hope it doesn’t affect the peace talks, though I’m sure some will insist on a policy change. My full comment can be found on my blog – just click above.

  2. Manish – you act as if Mushie is the puppetmaster to all these groups, and just waiting to strike at India whenever he gets a chance. My father met him years ago when he was just a Corps Commander, and over a few drinks he basically said he wants to see the army reduced to half its size once there is some sort of settlement over Kashmir – this is not Zia v2.0. He did severely disappoint me over Kargil, but once Sept 11 came by, he knows he can’t fool around anymore to get into a better position to bargain.

    From the analysis of the blasts on BBC, it seems that they were homemade devices – made inside India, not smuggled over the LOC or anything. In addition, there is the element of money being involved – i.e. organized crime is being paid to carry out the actual attacks. So this is becoming more and more internal, and by blaming Musharraf sitting in Pindi GHQ isn’t going to solve anything. Plus putting in a Congress man and taking out Saeed – who was fairly successful at reducing support for the hardliners – doesn’t make India any safer.

    Fuck it seriously – I don’t even know why so much blood is being shed over a piece of land. I’d just declare the LOC the official border, and make it one big free trade zone and demilitarize the whole region. But no, there’s these arcane concepts of pride and religion that have to fuck everything up for everyone. Like Marcellus Wallace said – “Fuck Pride. Pride only hurts, it never helps”

    Sorry for the rant

  3. I agree with alybaba that the peace talks should not break down.

    Most likely LeT is behind it. They are super-organized. While it is true that the armies are busy in Kashmir, it does not require direct involvement of an army to support a terrorist organization. You need to supply money, arms and ammunitions and an implicit support.

  4. I have to agree alybaba that LOC should be declared as an official border.

    However, we still do not know who did it, why – let us not rush to the judgments. Also, let us see how India can make itself more safe.

    Hatred spread during days before Diwali and Id is not a good omen.

  5. Agree with alybaba too, blaming musharraf for everything is kinda reductionist. Most of the jihadi groups hate him too.

    Let’s hope people are alright.

  6. I have to agree alybaba that LOC should be declared as an official border.

    Disagree.

    blaming musharraf for everything is kinda reductionist.

    Same stand.

    You have to understand it from a game theoristic perspective. The classical research was based on the premise that people are rational, simply because it is difficult to formulate strategy when you do not have any idea of the other party’s line of thinking. However, the current nobel prize winner in economics has given us some hope. It is clear that a party has slight advantage when it credibly convinces the other party that it is slightly nuts. Think North Korea.

    Pakistan is playing this game too. They are the ones willing to go on a self-destructive pre-emptive attack.

    For real progress to be made: - Mushy must go - real democracy must get installed in Pakistan

    Until such time, no appeasement will yield results.

  7. Yes, but declaring the LOC as an official border is anathema to most Pakistanis. I’m in the extreme minority. They’re like “we haven’t fought 50 years for nothing blah blah” Newsflash – you never take sunk costs into account when making an investment decision. Plus with this quake, its quite clear that Kashmir could never be truly independant (which is what they claim they’re fighting fought)

    But lets be honest, Indian adminstration in Kashmir has also left a lot to be desired – I believe Mr. Sumit Ganguly wrote a great book on that one.

  8. This is off-topic point.

    Salman Rushdie was on NPR. He very elquently said that both India and Pakistan have royally f**d Kashmir. These have been my thoughts since I remember.

    However. lets first concentrate on Delhi blast, and 3 million people stranded in Kashimr – with winter descending upon them.

  9. argus

    How will be part of this democracy and lead it? Can you please tell me?

    As a Pakistani in Pakistan, I cannot see anyone credible who has popular support and political backing – perhaps from New Jersey the view is slightly better.

  10. argus_nj,

    Very insightful comment. Conceding the LoC as border will merely embolden the entire Pakistani military-jihadist complex and serve as a validation of the effectiveness of their use of Islamist terrorism. They will become even stronger and merriliy go on to the next strategic target. Appeasement will also indicate weakness to the Chinese who will further entrench themselves in Aksai Chin and Arunachal Pradesh.

    The only option for India is to inflict unbearable pain and a crushing defeat to the Islamo-fascist military-jihadist complex in Pakistan.

  11. The only option for India is to inflict unbearable pain and a crushing defeat to the Islamo-fascist military-jihadist complex in Pakistan.

    Joke right?

    Or did you forget how painful Kargil was to both sides of the border?

  12. alybaba,

    That’s a good point. However, by the same token, there’s no way any Indian government will ever have the political capital to sell turning the LoC into a border to the Indian people. I guess this is what makes it an unfortunate stalemate.

  13. Gujjubhai

    As much as I hate religous fundamentalists, Indian aggression will only make this “Islamo-fascist military-jihadist complex” that you speak of, stronger. Instead of 1 or 2 million, you’d have 50 million to deal with.

    And lets get this straight – sacrificing India’s economic development, geopolitical status and global respect for the next 25 years in order to gain the other half of Himalayan territory that has been just ravaged by a massive earthquake is the way to go?

    Wow, and I thought jihadis were crazy.

  14. Just before we confirm it was some extremist Islamist affiliated outfit – just recently there has been talk about an attempt to revive Khalistani militancy – is there a possibility that it might be linked to this?

  15. Or did you forget how painful Kargil was to both sides of the border?

    And the point is….? Yes, wars are painful. The only reason why civilized peoples are forced into fighting them is because the consequences of losing are a lot worse. Look at the living hell India has created for Kashmiri hindu refugees after losing political control and abandonig them to the Islamists in 1989.

    My point is this: I do not see a peaceful way of defeating the ideology of hatred that drives the MJC in Pakistan to seek destruction and dismemberment of India leading to reestablishment of Islamic Caliphate.You and I may think this is a lunatic fantasy, but millions of Pakistanis are actively engaged in a war to realize this. Kashmir and Kargil need to be seen in this larger context. How much easier has life been since then with the plane hijack in 1999 and release of uber-terrorists, attack on the Parliament and a continuous string of terrost attacks since Kargil?

  16. sacrificing India’s economic development, geopolitical status and global respect for the next 25 years in order to gain the other half of Himalayan territory

    That was precisely my point. Mr AlyBaba, I understand what you are trying to say, but the fact remains that we are perceived as not nuts. Hence we will never launch a massive scale attack for blasts like this. Hence it will go on ad infinitum.

    The only thing that could change was Pakistan’s internal political structure. But since rational people like you resign yourselves to fate, it is not going to, anytime soon.

    So, let’s just remain friends, hope you had a good Ramadan. But let’s not discuss this issue. We won’t reach a concensus.

  17. Just before we confirm it was some extremist Islamist affiliated outfit – just recently there has been talk about an attempt to revive Khalistani militancy – is there a possibility that it might be linked to this?

    This is a possiblity. so… who wants to nuke Punjab…

    …going one …going two..

  18. alybaba

    I am Indian and am with you on this. It is true, we have some real macho men with their dreams of guns and ‘game theory’ and chest thumping about ‘war’ on our side too (see above)

    Always talk brave things about the need for sacrifice and war from the safety of their armchair when its not they or their families who will be bereft and weeping. And this thing about India not accepting the LOC as the border – what are they talking about? Are they suggesting that the Indian masses covet Azad Kashmir? I dont mean to be rude, but sometimes I wonder about how blind and deluded some people really are.

    Keep thumping your chest guys!

    Thanks for posting here alybaba i always do value reading my Pakistani cousins and friends contributions ;-)

  19. This is a possiblity. so… who wants to nuke Punjab…

    Lets nuke Gujarat first for the anti-minority and anti-state terorrism practised there in the last few years

  20. Argus,

    Yup, absolutely right.

    Alybaba,

    If you follow Argus’s line of reasoning, India needs to appear crazy enough to be ready and willing to go to the extent of sacrificing everything else for the purpose of defeating the Pakistani IF MJC. Otherwise, they will merely keep expoliting India’s desire for peace & economic development as a weakness to extract concessions and continue the conflict.

    Come to think of it, it may not even be that crazy : India’s economic development is not FDI driven and the domestic economy is fairly resilient to terrorism. The rise as a military superpower, in fact, is even more likely to drive India towards taking a hardline stand on territorial integrity: who will take India seriously if it can’t enforce even its own territorial claims?

    On the whole, it’s a shitty situation to be in and personally, I am not hopeful for the prospects of peace in the region anytime soon.

  21. I’m agnostic, but yes I had a good Ramadan since the office closes at 2:30 and I get a good 2 hours of golf on a daily basis.

    And its not resigning one’s self to fate, its looking at reality. The reason why India’s democracy is a democracy as opposed to Pakistan’s is one that goes back 50 years – land reforms. Feudal power was abolished, and the common man had a voice. However in Pakistan, the feudals have maintained grips on political power since the days of Liaquat Ali Khan, when they had him assasinated.

    Its really very simple. Majority of the population is rural. That rural population work as bonded labourers on the lands of the feudal lords. So when election time comes around, they have to vote for who their feudal lord tells them to or they are kicked off the land and lose their livelihood. Its so bad that a lot feudal families have 2 family members running from 2 different parties, so they have a representation no matter what. You know its really bad when the so called Socialists (PPP)is run by a landowning family.

    They only way to change this structure is land distribution, which can’t be done politically since the people opposed to it sit in the National Assembly. The other option is a peasant revolution, which not too many peasants. will be willing to risk. What other routes do you have in mind that you could share argus?

  22. Always talk brave things about the need for sacrifice and war from the safety of their armchair when its not they or their families who will be bereft and weeping.

    Wrong assumption. Have you thought about the possibility that some of us are more sensitive to such issues precisely because our families have, in fact, a lot more at stake or made more sacrifices in the past? The joke is on you, dude: it’s people like you who have no clue about how some of our uncles and cousins fighting on the borders or as cops are creating the safe cocoon for people like you to live in and pontificate to the rest of us.

  23. This is a possiblity. so… who wants to nuke Punjab…
    Lets nuke Gujarat first for the anti-minority and anti-state terorrism practised there in the last few years

    Dang it…good point. But who will then run our desi grocs store…Lets nuke “game theory”‘s arse first.

  24. Have you thought about the possibility that some of us are more sensitive to such issues precisely because our families have, in fact, a lot more at stake

    Oh I get it, the plan is to establish an entire chain of 7-11′s in Azad Kashmir, with the lowest prices on this side of the LOC, and your folks have already paid the franchise fees.

  25. Oh I get it, the plan is to establish an entire chain of 7-11′s in Azad Kashmir, with the lowest prices on this side of the LOC, and your folks have already paid the franchise fees.

    Brilliant idea! Lets have a “mother of all Malls” right smack at the LOC. Peeppul sell shtuff – peeppul buy shtuff. All live happy happy.

  26. The joke is on you, dude: it’s people like you who have no clue about how some of our uncles and cousins fighting on the borders or as cops are creating the safe cocoon for people like you to live in and pontificate to the rest of us.

    Yeah yeah yeah big man – more chest thumping and dick measuring – you know nothing about me or my family and I am not going to get into a stupid ‘my-family-has-more-at-stake-than-you’ wank fest – so hilarious.

    Keep war mongering big strong and brave game theory dude in your armchair! ;-)

  27. Umm…wait, we are talking terrorist attacks here in Delhi…not full fledged war in the border. Can we stick to the issue at hand.

    Do I think the terrorists are from outside India? Most probably yes. Just because the bombs are handmade in India does not mean that the morons who participated in this sheer act of cowardice were from India.

    This is what happens when we make the border with Pakistan (post ‘quake) a little more porous. And before you jump on me, I dont think Pakistan is directly to blame for this.

    Sure there are bureaucratic misogynistic bunglers in Pindi who can’t keep their border with Afghanistan secure and let extremism thrive within their borders. That lets extremists (or as they are popularly known — Jehadi Islamo-Fascists) take advantage of India’s perfectly laudable foriegn policy stand to extend humanitarian aid to a beleagured neighbour.

  28. Sure there are bureaucratic misogynistic bunglers in Pindi…

    You mean misanthropic?

  29. What other routes do you have in mind that you could share argus?

    The other route is too slow for my taste but it is happening. The proof is you. Enterprising young fellas like you can convert Pakistan into an offshoring/BPO superpower. Of course you have to develop your own niche.

    Once the progressive populace reaches about 15 – 25% of GDP contribution, you will make a big impact. But it will take time.

  30. This is what happens when we make the border with Pakistan (post ‘quake) a little more porous

    But that hasn’t happened yet.

  31. Condolences to the families affected.

    Uggh. How awful. I will be exponentially pissed at the cowardice of extremists, especially if their presence is proved due to a post-quake porous border…. Tis cowardice, regardless. Sick.

  32. We dont know if the pakistanis did it yet but commentators are saying it looks like an LeT inspired attack. After the dust settles, If its pakistan well then India should immideately take punitive measures. For starters withdraw the quake aid that its promised pakistan. India ought to adopt Bush doctrine. If they yell Jihaad, we will bring Jihaad to them rather then them bringing it to us.

  33. what an absurd discussion.

    alybaba, you speak the truth. of course, you and i both know that the powerful and the ideologues on either side aren’t interested in any kind of negotiated solution, especially one that appears to put the two on an equal footing. can’t have that. must have a winner and a loser.

    the powerful at least have a good excuse: they have vested interests in things staying as they are. the armchair ideologues are another story.

    in any case, wherever you all stand on the issue, don’t lose track of alybaba’s intelligent analysis in comment #23. the big long term difference is that pakistan stayed feudal (or became more so, in new ways) while india consolidated its democracy (warts and all).

    peace

  34. “India ought to adopt Bush doctrine. If they yell Jihaad, we will bring Jihaad to them rather then them bringing it to us.”

    Oh yes, Guru Galib, adopting the Bush (neocon) doctrine of invading unarmed countries that posed no threat to the United States and killing tens of thousands of civilians is the way to go?? while multiplying the number of “mini-jihads” in Iraq and around the world?? you’re insane, like bush and his cabal.

  35. you’re insane, like bush and his cabal

    Well you @#$%@#$@ have you read my views on invasion of countries for no reason. In the current context I along with many indians am perfectly fine going into pakistan and bringing the jihaad to the jihaadis. Next time when some one attacts NYC I hope they take your dear ones down.

  36. Always talk brave things about the need for sacrifice and war from the safety of their armchair when its not they or their families who will be bereft and weeping.
    Wrong assumption. Have you thought about the possibility that some of us are more sensitive to such issues precisely because our families have, in fact, a lot more at stake or made more sacrifices in the past?

    Gujjubhai This is a pisspoor tactic that many folks engage in discussion pertaining to india. If they disagree with you they will imply that you dont care about india or dont have any thing to loose or you care less about india cause you happen to be outside india living a life of luxury.

  37. A common pattern is emerging on SM:

    When an argument is presented: a) Resort to personalities b) Make illogical and incoherent statements c) Make absurd assumptions about the poster’s beliefs d) All of the above

    the armchair ideologues are another story.

    Who is not an armchair ideologue here? Are you going to bear arms? Perhaps you will participate in a feel-good blue rally in Washington Square Park (with gays, bis and deviants thrown in for good measure) and shout slogans. How does that solve the problem?

    Lets nuke “game theory”‘s arse first.

    Of course, let us also dump all the scientific progress made so far and go back to stone age. No India, no Pakistan, no problem. See, how easy it is?

    It is tempting to join a herd, easy way out. The posters above did not even care to read all the posts. The idea is, as long as you take the general tried and tested bleeding heart libby position (indeed helps you get laid perhaps), you do not need to expend any energy.

  38. The terrorists were probably not Kashmiris because any poor Kashmiri anywhere in India has the local police so hot on his tail just for being Kashmiri he would have trouble going to the bathroom alone let alone find and detonate a bomb.

    Perhaps the Indian Muslim groups that have been promising revenge since Ayodhya and the Gujarat riots have finally arrived?

    The Indian state deserves retaliation. India being a democracy, that means ordinary Indians deserve it too. There is no claiming innocence when its your elected government that has been torturing, kidnapping, assassinating, extorting money, brutalising ordinary people. You do share the responsibility and the blame even if all you’ve done is keep your mouth shut.

    However as always the easy option is to scream bloody murder at someone marginally related to the problem over whose behaviour you have no control (Musharraf), rather than the core of the problem which really is under your control (the Indian government) and that is no doubt what Indian politicians and the media will do.

    When there is

    • real rule of law across India including Kashmir and the northeast, meaning habeas corpus, accountability, communally unbiased and uncorruptible officials, rapid undelayed justice

    • real press scrutiny of government actions

    • public rejection of repressive tactics like martial law, house-to-house searches, shooting to kill at demonstrators, “interning” people for years without trial, killing people in “encounters”, making people “disappear”

    • public awareness and major public focus on eliminating communal bias from the Indian administration and society (ie. when no housing society can dare to exclude Muslims/Christians/ etc., when all the racists, which is to say about 90% of all people in government service, have been sacked, etc. etc.)

    then there will be no serious terrorism problem. Right now of course there is a serious one and will no doubt continue to be.

    But then I suppose one has to look at it in perspective. Today the terrorists only killed 50. Indian Railways’ inability to keep its trains on the rails killed three times that. We have so many different kinds of incompetence to deal with in India, and the only competent people available are already working for Infosys.

  39. libby position (indeed helps you get laid perhaps),

    It stimulates libia majora.

  40. The Indian state deserves retaliation. India being a democracy, that means ordinary Indians deserve it too. There is no claiming innocence when its your elected government that has been torturing, kidnapping, assassinating, extorting money, brutalising ordinary people. You do share the responsibility and the blame even if all you’ve done is keep your mouth shut.

    This is bait. Let it be guys.

  41. We have so many different kinds of incompetence to deal with in India, and the only competent people available are already working for Infosys.

    Oh thanks for complimenting my team i feel so quilty for causing india this problem. You see the rest of us dont have any brains or the hearts. We are cowed into taking positions by our own politicos.

  42. horrible news.

    Fortunately, we know that AmericaÂ’s good friend Musharraf toils ceaselessly to restrain these eunuchs.

    Bah, leave the eunuchs out of this.

  43. PUNJABI BOY,

    You left out mass rapes, rape of daughters and wives infront of parents and husbands, genital mutilation, use of citizens for vaccine and chemical weaponry research, utter subjugation of womenfolk so that the only way they experience sex is through rape (marital or otherwise), rampant sodomy, slavery, curfew, forced conscription, a complete disregard for property and intellectual rights, refusal to sign CTBT, KYOTO, power outages, mosquitos, lack of hygiene, refusal to use deodorants etc.

  44. Not to mention,

    the treatment of widows, the prevalance of castism, feudalism, police brutality, dam building, inbreeding, improper sewage practices, anti-conversion attitudes, sati, defacating out in the open, rampant capitalist reforms that hurt the poor, illiteracy, rat worship, farmer suicides, and malnutrition.

  45. I second comment #46.

    Re: “Plus putting in a Congress man and taking out Saeed – who was fairly successful at reducing support for the hardliners – doesn’t make India any safer.”

    Alybaba: this isn’t a very fair comment; Saeed was only IN power because the Congress LET him, as his party had won fewer seats than the Congress in the 2002 elections (traditionally the CM would have been from the party winning more seats). Obviously the alienation of the people of the Valley played a big factor in this, as the Congress was eager for the so-called “healing touch”; but the whole deal was always that the parties would swap CMS after three years (meaning that the Congress CM would only get 2 of the 5 years). I am sensitive to the concerns of the people of the Valley, but let’s not forget people from other regions of J&K: this is the first time ever that someone from outside the Valley has become CM os the state, and I don’t see what’s so wrong with that? I also don’t see how or why this should irritate people in the Valley– i.e. it’s one thing is “their” guy was being removed through some chicanery (e.g. when the Indian government shamefully rigged the 1987 elections to prevent anti-National Conference forces from winning, helping convince large numbers of Kashmiris that they couldn’t get a fair deal), but here Saeed became CM by virtue of the very opposite process: the pro-government (at the time, the NDA) forces LOST, and part of the deal was a CM-switch in 2005. So it isn’t as if this is a surprise to anyone in Kashmir, everyone knew precisely when it would happen and why it would happen.

    As for the main topic here, not sure what there is to discuss. One is appalled at this heinous act of course, and it is dismaying to see that the Indian government seems pretty clueless to prevent such attacks, which occur quite regularly.

  46. I’d agree with Bong Breaker – I used to read through the posts here because they usually had some good points of view on offer. Sadly, the tripe above (coming, as it were, on such an occassion) isn’t exactly readership material.