The 2011 Mumbai bombings (often referred to as 13 July or 13/7) were a series of three coordinated bomb explosions at different locations in Mumbai, India, on 13 July 2011 between 18:54 and 19:06 IST. The blasts occurred at the Opera House, Zaveri Bazaar, and Dadar West localities, leaving 26 killed, and 130 injured.
Timeline and damage[edit | edit source]
The first device was planted on a motorcycle at Khau Gali in south Mumbai's Zaveri Bazaar and exploded at 18:54 local time. The second device, planted in a tiffin box at the Opera House near Charni Road, exploded at 18:55. The third device was placed on an electric pole at a Kabutar Khana bus stand in Dadar area and exploded at 19:06.
Following the blasts, phone lines were jammed and communications ceased or were available intermittently for at least a few hours. Other metropolitan cities like Delhi, Chennai, Hyderabad and Bangalore were also put on high alert. Immediately after the blasts, the Mumbai Police sent an SMS to a few mobile phone users in Mumbai reading "Bomb blasts reported at Zaveri Bazaar, Dadar. Please be careful. Stay indoors. Watch news channels". Most of the injured were rushed to various hospitals in Mumbai, such as J.J. Hospital, St. George's Hospital, Harikishandas Hospital and G.T. Hospital.
Mumbai has been hit by terrorist incidents at least half a dozen times since the early 1990s, with over 600 people dying in these attacks. In an editorial, the Times of India described the city as having become a "hot hunting ground for terror."
Casualties and compensation[edit | edit source]
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Indian National Congress leader Sonia Gandhi visited Mumbai the next day and met with those injured in blasts at Saifee Hospital. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh announced a compensation of Template:INR2,00,000 to the kin of each of those killed and Template:INR1,00,000 to the seriously injured. Meanwhile, the Maharashta Government also announced Template:INR5,00,000 in compensation to the families of each of those killed and about[vague] Template:INR50,000 to the injured.
Investigations[edit | edit source]
Speculations[edit | edit source]
There was speculation that the pattern of the blasts suggested involvement of Indian Mujahideen. According to the Special cell of the Delhi Police, Indian Mujahideen has been conducting blasts on the 13 or 26 of the month. [nb 1] Speculation was also rife that the Mumbai underworld could be behind these blasts, in the light of the killing of journalist Jyotirmoy Dey, as well as the attempted assassination of Dawood Ibrahim's brother, Iqbal Kaskar on 3 May. 13 July is also observed as Kashmir Martyr's day, and there could be a possibility that the attacks were carried out by Kashmiri groups. There is also a view that the attacks could have been plotted by those trying to derail the Indo-Pakistani peace process.
The slain MiD DAY crime journalist Jyotirmoy Dey had previously reported that a huge cache of 35 detonators, gelatin sticks and large quantity of ammonium nitrate explosives had been seized on 20 May 2011 from Umarkui and Sayli village in Silvassa. Ammonium nitrate, gelatin and detonators have been used in several bomb blasts in Mumbai previously. The report also mentioned that this cache had gone missing soon after local police took custody. The journalist had also speculated that the cache might be used to trigger terror attacks in the city. There were calls for further investigations into this link to the Mumbai blasts by his employer MiD DAY.
Timeline of investigations[edit | edit source]
The Home Ministry classified the bomb blasts as a terrorist act and dispatched a National Investigation Agency (NIA) team to the bomb site. The Chief Minister of Maharashtra Prithviraj Chavan said that the bombs used could have been fuel filled, much like molotov cocktails. Preliminary investigations suggested the use of multiple IED explosives in the blasts with ammonium nitrate-based explosives mixed with fuel oil. The explosives indicate some level of sophistication. It is also believed that remote detonators may have been used, with two of the three blasts being high-intensity. The Home Minister also announced that his office would be updating the people through the media every two hours.
The Maharashtra ATS was reported to have sought a list of passengers traveling from Kolkata to Mumbai and Kolkata to Kanpur from the Kolkata police. The suspicions were a result of a Kolkata man with Indian Mujahideen link having gone missing in the previous few days. A NIA team visited Ahmedabad on 15 July to meet an Indian Mujahideen suspect who was arrested by the Crime Branch in connection with the Ahemdabad blast in 2008. On 16 July, Maharashtra ATS Chief Rakesh Maria said that, based on forensic opinion and visit to the various sites, the possibility of a suicide bomber was being ruled out. However, a sketch of a possible suspect based on CCTV footage from one of the blast sites was being prepared. He added that in light of the sensitive nature of the investigation, the entire detail of the probe could not be revealed at that particular stage.
On 9 August, the Maharashtra ATS arrested one person it claimed had stolen a bike used in the Zaveri Bazaar explosion. The bike had been stolen from one Amit Singh a few hours before the blasts. CCTV footage showed one person with long hair riding a stolen red colour Honda Activa, entering the crowded lane, taking two left turns, placing the scooter at the spot of the explosion and walking off.
On 23 January 2012, the Mumbai Police claimed that it had solved the Mumbai Blasts case with the arrests of two suspects – Naqi Ahmed Wasi Ahmed Sheikh (22) and Nadeem Akhtar Ashfaq Sheikh (23) – hailing from Darbhanga district of Bihar. The Mumbai Police's ATS claimed that the two had stolen two scooters used in the blasts according to a scheme whose logistics were managed by Yasin Bhatkal, the mastermind of the blast. However, this televised announcement baffled the other intelligence agencies. It was later revealed that Naqi Ahmed was assisting the Delhi Police and other central intelligence agencies in tracking down two other perpetrators of the blast. Further investigations revealed that the two Pakistani bombers; named Waqqas and Tabrez staying in Byculla used as many as 18 SIM cards and six handsets. The duo received sim cards from the co-accused Naqi Ahmed, who was arrested by the ATS in January 2012 for possessing SIM cards obtained with fake documents, following which Naqi admitted his role in the blasts and also admitted working with Indian Mujahideen's founder member Yasin Bhatkal in arranging accommodations for the bombers.
On 25 May 2012, Maharashtra ATS filed a chargesheet against Naqee Ahmed, Nadeem Shaikh, Kanwar Pathrija and Haroon Naik (all are under arrest). Additionally, the chargesheet named six others including Indian Mujahideen mastermind Yasin Bhatkal and Riyaz Bhatkal, Waqas Ibrahim Sad, Danish alias Tarbez, Dubai based Muzaffar Kolah and Tehseen Akhtar as wanted accused on the run.
Allegations of police brutality[edit | edit source]
The Mumbai Police detained several men for questioning. One of those detained—Faiz Usmani—died while in police custody on 17 July, sparking allegations of police brutality. Usmani was the brother of one of the accused in the 2008 Ahmedabad bombings case. It was alleged by his family members that Faiz Usmani was healthy when the police picked him up and that he was subjected to torture in police custody. The police dismissed these charges and countered that Usmani was suffering from hypertension and complained of giddiness after walking himself into a police station. He was admitted to the Lokmanya Tilak hospital, Sion, Mumbai, following which he died quickly due to blood clots in brain and a heart attack. A CID probe has been ordered into Usmani's death.
Aftermath[edit | edit source]
In the wake of the blasts, Boeing announced that the Boeing-787 Dreamliner, which was on its maiden visit to India, would skip the Mumbai leg of the trip. An official said that it would have been insensitive to take the plane to Mumbai at this time when such a tragedy had occurred and that the decision had also been taken in view of security concerns and so as not to put added pressure to provide extra cover for the aircraft.
Chief Minister of Maharashtra Prithviraj Chavan revealed a plan by the Maharashtra government for a future use of satellite phones and the development of a secure communication network so that the administrative functioning is not affected during such crises as a result of network problems. He also reiterated the need to expedite the procurement of police modernisation equipment and the installation of CCTV cameras at prominent places in the city.
Reactions[edit | edit source]
Domestic[edit | edit source]
President Pratibha Patil and Vice President Hamid Ansari expressed their shock and condemned the attacks in Mumbai. Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh also condemned the bombing, and called on Mumbai citizens to remain calm and show unity. Other politicians, such as Sonia Gandhi, chairperson of the Indian National Congress and Nitin Gadkari of the BJP expressed their anger and offered condolences to the families of the bombing victims. Senior BJP leader L K Advani visited Mumbai on 14 July and stated that the repeated attacks in Mumbai prove policy failure on part of the government. The Left[vague] parties strongly condemned the Mumbai serial blasts and rued the government’s inability to track down the perpetrators of recent terror strikes. Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan said that this was an attack on the heart of India. Home Minister P. Chidambaram left Delhi for Mumbai on the same night and visited the three blast sites, met the injured in the hospitals, and interacted with the family members of the dead.
INC general secretary Rahul Gandhi remarked that it was impossible to stop all the terror attacks. He said that 99 per cent of the terror attacks had been prevented in the country thanks to various measures, such as improved intelligence collection efforts. He added that "We work towards defeating it, but it is very difficult to stop all the attacks. Even the United States, they are being attacked in Afghanistan.". His comments drew flak from some quarters of the Indian political spectrum, who criticised him for equating the Mumbai attacks with those in Afghanistan and called it an insult to those killed in the blasts.
Chairman of the moderate Hurriyat faction Mirwaiz Umar Farooq condemned the Mumbai blasts saying such incidents are orchestrated to derail the dialogue process between India and Pakistan and that those involved in killing of innocent people 'are enemies of humanity'. In a statement, he said "We are saddened by the huge loss of life in the Mumbai blasts and condemn it. Spilling the blood of innocents, be it in Mumbai, Palestine, Karachi or Kashmir, is a shameful and inhuman act."
International[edit | edit source]
Organizations[edit | edit source]
- A statement issued by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon's office read: "The Secretary-General (Ban) condemns the attacks that have killed and injured many in Mumbai," said a statement from his office. "No cause or grievance can justify indiscriminate violence against civilians. The Secretary-General expresses his solidarity with the Government and people of India, and extends his sincere condolences to the families of the victims," it added.
- A statement read by Peter Wittig, Germany's ambassador to the UN and current United Nations Security Council President declared that "the members of the Security Council reaffirmed that terrorism in all its forms and manifestations constitutes one of the most serious threats to international peace and security, and that any acts of terrorism are criminal and unjustifiable, regardless of their motivation." In a deviation from the language used by the Security Council in its condemnations of other such attacks, this press statement did not contain the Security Council's usual admonition to member states that they must ensure that measures taken to combat terrorism, comply with all their obligations under international law, in particular international human rights, refugee and humanitarian law, prompting some observers to comment that this was a result of India's growing clout in the premier body.
- European Union Foreign policy Chief Catherine Ashton's office released a statement that read: "(Ashton) was horrified to hear that Mumbai has again been the target of a series of deadly bomb attacks. She condemns these heinous acts and expresses her condolences to the families and friends of the victims. It is essential that the perpetrators these evil attacks are brought to justice," stated a release issued by her office.
- Secretary General of NATO Anders Fogh Rasmussen expressed deepest sympathies to the victims of the brutal terrorist attacks in heavily populated areas of Mumbai. He condemned in the strongest possible terms the indiscriminate violence and the senseless loss of innocent lives.
Countries[edit | edit source]
- Afghanistan: During a visit to New Delhi, the head of the Peace Council and former President Burhanuddin Rabbani expressed his sincere condolences on the innocent lives lost in the Mumbai blasts. Noting that terrorism was not limited to one country he said: "It is now a big threat to the countries in the region and the wider global community".
- Argentina: The Foreign Ministry issued a statement saying that "Argentina deeply sympathised with the families of the victims and pledged solidarity with the Indian government as well as those affected in Wednesday's triple bomb attacks in Mumbai."
- Australia: Foreign minister Kevin Rudd stated that Australia "condemns the attack in absolute terms." He urged Australians in India to follow the advice of local authorities. Later, Prime Minister Julia Gillard said that Australia stood with Mumbai and the people of India.
- Bahrain: A statement by the foreign ministry said that the kingdom strongly condemned the bomb blasts, expressed solidarity with the government and people of India and extended sincere condolences to the families of the victims.
- Canada: Prime Minister Stephen Harper said that: "On behalf of all Canadians, Laureen and I offer our deep and profound sympathy and condolences to the families and loved ones of those killed and injured by these heinous acts of violence, including Canadians who may have loved ones in Mumbai. These attacks are a stark reminder that terrorism is alive and active around the globe and can strike at any time. All countries need to work together and take necessary precautions to combat the scourge who perpetrate these atrocities. Canada remains united with the Government and people of India in their fight against terror. Our thoughts and prayers are with them in this difficult time. We offer our support as India works to bring to justice those responsible for these cowardly attacks against innocent people."
- People's Republic of China: The government "strongly condemned" the blasts, adding that it was "ready to work with India to jointly fight against terrorism."
- France: A statement issued by President Nicolas Sarkozy's office read: "As the city of Mumbai is again hit by a series of terrorist attacks, the President of the Republic firmly condemns the cowardly and blind violence and wants to express France's full solidarity with India's authorities in these painful hours. More than ever France is standing by India in its fight against the scourge of terrorism."
- Germany: Chancellor Angela Merkel condemned the Mumbai blasts saying that: "My thoughts are with the many wounded from the Mumbai blasts and my deepest sympathy goes to those who have lost relatives or friends through this act of terrorism. The Indian people can be sure of Germany’s solidarity in the fight against terrorism."
- Indonesia: Foreign Affairs Minister Marty Natalegawa declared in Jakarta that: "We strongly condemn the attack and express deep condolences to the people of India for the loss of lives due to the terror;" he added that the recent attack reminded the world that non-state terrorism is a real threat and cooperation is needed to counter it.
- Iran: The embassy condemned the indiscriminate, mindless and cowardly terrorist attacks in Mumbai which resulted in death and injury of a large number of innocent people. It issued astatement that read: "It is not only against the tenets of all religions and beliefs but is also contrary to the noble nature of the human being. Iran is a victim of terrorism and is thoroughly against it in all forms and manifestations."
- Israel: A spokesman for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said on 14 July that Israel "strongly condemns the shocking terrorist attack which claimed 21 lives and injured over 140 innocent people in the heart of Mumbai, that once again has faced an assault aimed at breaking the spirit of its courageous citizens. Israel stands side-by side with India in its relentless struggle against terror and is convinced that the resilience of the Indian people will prevail. These events are once again a reminder to all forward-looking nations that the scourge of terror must be combated and overcome. Israel expresses its solidarity with India and extends its deepest condolences to the victims and their families and offers its full support and assistance to the Government of India."
- Japan: The Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued a statement that read: "Japan condemns terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, and strongly reiterates that no act of terrorism can be justified;" it further added that "[it] firmly condemns such act of terrorism as inexcusable."
- Maldives: In a message of condolence to his Indian counterpart Pratibha Patil, President Mohamed Nasheed condemned the bomb blasts and expressed his country's firm solidarity with the government and the people of India.
- New Zealand: Prime Minister John Key said he was "shocked and saddened" by the attack. He also said that "these good and kind people did not deserve to be targeted by terrorists again. The people responsible for these cowardly attacks against civilians deserve nothing but contempt."
- Pakistan: President Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gillani condemned the blasts and expressed their sympathy with the Indian leadership on the loss of lives and property.
- Poland: Foreign minister Radoslaw Sikorski stated that terrorism in all its forms was a "dangerous pathology," which should be "fiercely fought by the 21st century world" and added that "killing innocent people cannot be justified by any ideology or political goals." He sent his country's condolences to families of victims of the attack and to the Indian people.
- Qatar: The Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement that it strongly condemned the serial blasts, describing them as "terrorist acts contravening moral and human values" and extended its condolences to the government of India and the families of the victims.
- Russia: Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov told reporters in a joint press conference with United States Secretary of State Hillary Clinton that Russia strongly condemned the serial blasts in Mumbai, terming the attack as a "despicable" act designed to provoke "fear and division. We condemn the people who organised this act, and we extend our condolences to India and the Government of India...the Indian people have suffered from acts of terrorism before, and we have seen them respond with courage and resilience."
- Singapore: The Foreign Ministry issued an advisory asking its citizens staying in Mumbai to be cautious. The Foreign Ministry further added that it has not received any reports of Singaporean casualties in the blasts.
- South Africa: The spokesman for the Department of International Relations and Cooperation Clayson Monyela said "...[having] learnt with great shock about the news of the terror bombings, which killed and injured innocent lives in Mumbai on Wednesday. The government of South Africa condemns in the strongest terms these atrocious acts which cannot have any justification at all in an open and democratic society."
- South Korea: The Foreign Ministry issued a statement that read: "Our government condemns the serial terrorist bombings that took place in Mumbai, India, on Wednesday, and expresses its deepest condolences to the innocent victims and their families. Our government condemns acts of terrorism as crimes against civilisation and humanity, and believes they should not be tolerated for any reason."
- Sri Lanka: President Mahinda Rajapaksa condemned the bombings and expressed his condolences to the bereaved families. He said that Sri Lanka will continue to work collectively with India in eradicating the menace of terrorism.
- Turkey: The Foreign Ministry released a statement condemning the attacks in Mumbai, saying that it is in solidarity with India and other countries that have suffered similar attacks.
- United Arab Emirates: Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan issued a statement that read: "The UAE condemns this terrible, appalling crime and affirms its full solidarity and standing with the Government of India in confronting these criminal acts." He also offered heartfelt condolences to the families of innocent victims and wished for a speedy recovery to those who were injured.
- United Kingdom: Foreign Secretary William Hague said: "I send my deepest condolences to all those who have lost relatives or been injured in the bomb blasts in Mumbai. These were deplorable acts of terrorism. The UK stands firmly with India in the face of such atrocities. We are committed to working with the Indian government and our allies and partners to combat the threat from terrorism in all its forms."
- United States: President Barack Obama said: "I strongly condemn the outrageous attacks in Mumbai, and my thoughts and prayers are with the wounded and those who have lost loved ones. The U.S. government continues to monitor the situation, including the safety and security of our citizens. India is a close friend and partner of the United States. The American people will stand with the Indian people in times of trial, and we will offer support to India’s efforts to bring the perpetrators of these terrible crimes to justice. During my trip to Mumbai, I saw firsthand the strength and resilience of the Indian people and I have no doubt that India will overcome these deplorable terrorist attacks."
- Vietnam: The Spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Vietnam, Ms. Nguyen Phuong Nga said: "Viet Nam strongly condemns the July 13 bomb attacks, which killed tens of people and injured hundreds of others in Mumbai, India. We share our deepest condolences with the State, Government and people of India and families of the victims."
Notes[edit | edit source]
See also[edit | edit source]
References[edit | edit source]
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