Blasts in commercial hub not an attack on market: Home Min

Terror struck Mumbai once again on Wednesday evening. Home Minister P Chidambaram said 17 people were killed and 131 others injured after bombs blast at three crowded locations in the heart of the city.

“Out of the 131 people admitted to 13 hospitals, 26 were discharged, 82 were stable and 23 were seriously injured, some are still critical,” Chidambaram said in a press conference in Mumbai on Thursday. He said the the Mumbai blasts cannot be interpreted as attack on the market. “India will continue to grow & prosper.. this cannot be seen as attack on India’s commercial market,” he added.

The first and deadliest of the blasts was at 6:45 pm at Zaveri Bazar diamond market, followed by another one at 6:55 pm at Opera House – both in crowded south Mumbai. The third one was at 7.05 pm in Dadar, central Mumbai.

The three blasts leave behind a bloody trail of dead and injured. While hundreds of injured were being rushed to hospital, the toll kept mounting into the wee hours.

The injured have been admitted to several hospitals including the JJ Hospital, GT Hospital, KEM Hospital and St George’s Hospital.

“Our primary concern at this stage is to help the injured,” said Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan after the blast.

Improvised Explosive Devices (IED) seem to have been used. One IED was beleived to be placed in a Maruti Esteem, anothe on a motor bike and the third one at a bus stop. Timer devices could have been used.

“IEDs were placed. Bomb detection squad members are doing there job. The investigation is done by anti-terrorists squad in coordination with the Mumbai Police,” said Mumbai Police Commissioner Arup Patnaik.

The serial terror attack came two days after the fifth anniversary of the serial train blasts that shook Mumbai in 2006 killing at least 186 people. Incidentally, two suspected Indian Mujahideen men Mohammed Mobin Abdul Shakoor Khan alias Irfan (32) and his cousin Ayub Raja Amin Shaikh (28), wanted by the Gujarat Police, were arrested two days ago by the Mumbai Police.

In Delhi, all that the Centre was willing to concede is, it was a terrorist attack.

“The blasts took place at around 6.45 pm within minutes of each other. Therefore we inform that it was a coordinated attack by terrorists,” said Union Home Minister P Chidambaram.

Security alerts have been issued in all major cities including New Delhi and Kolkata after the blasts in Mumbai.

The police have meanwhile traced the owner of the car used in the Zaveri Bazar blast to Vashi and was questioned. Now investigators will take over. But the citizens of Mumbai are already asking why the maximum city is targeted again and why is not one able to stop this cycle of terror?