Wednesday, Sep 03, 2003
Front Page |
Southern States |
Advts: Classifieds | Employment | Obituary |
THE MUMBAI POLICE deserve the nation's commendation for the swift and apparently decisive breakthrough in the investigation of the dreadful twin bomb explosions that shook the metropolis on August 25. This is no mean achievement given the fact that the four arrested suspects were part of a group that operated in relative isolation, that used relatively low-tech `homemade' bombs, and that was prepared to kill people at random. It is extremely difficult to apprehend a terrorist module that operates in this manner and Mumbai has learnt this the hard way. The August 25 blasts were the sixth and seventh since December 2, 2002, when two people were killed and over 30 injured in an explosion that ripped through a bus in suburban Mumbai. The damage caused by the serial blasts has been varied and has depended on the quantity of explosives used and where they were set off. But what has been notable about the blasts is that they seemed to follow a grisly pattern. In all these attacks, there were no specific targets. The explosives were planted and set off in crowded places with the aim of causing random death and destruction.
Not surprisingly, the Mumbai police suspected that there was a common hand behind the blasts. Following the arrest of the four suspected to have triggered off the August 25 twin blasts, there is reason to believe that the accused were responsible for at least one of the other recent terrorist attacks the July 28 bomb explosion in a bus in the Ghatkopar area. Whether the arrest of the four suspects they include three members of a family, two of them women will throw additional light on the other strikes remains to be seen. It is also far from clear whether the group functioned as a module of the Lashkar-e-Taiba as the Mumbai police have suggested or whether it operated more or less on its own. As things stand, no conclusive evidence has been furnished to establish that the group was guided by the LeT or had strong trans-national links. At the same time, the confessional statements suggest that this group, which styled itself the Gujarat Muslim Revenge Force, was seeking `retribution' for the communal carnage in that State a depressing reminder of the typical social and political circumstances in which terrorism arises.
What the arrests and confessions unequivocally point towards is the extraordinary danger posed by terrorist groups that operate on similar lines. The risk of a bomb in a bag left behind in a bus, a train or a motor vehicle parked in a crowded area highlights the vulnerability of a metropolis to terrorists who are indiscriminate about who they kill or what they destroy. Seven bomb blasts in nine months may have been enough to overawe some other cities, but apparently not Mumbai, which has displayed a remarkable spirit of resilience and courage. The manner in which the city's public responded to the horrific August 25 blasts first, by helping, and tending to, the injured and then by returning to work and carrying on business as usual is a testimony to this spirit. The creation of panic and a fear psychosis is a key motive behind the kind of blasts that have recently rocked the city. Mumbai may have been unable to prevent the explosions but it has defeated the larger designs of the terrorists by showing that it will be undeterred and that it can quickly restore itself to normalcy.
The Hindu Group: Home | About Us | Copyright | Archives | Contacts | Subscription
Group Sites: The Hindu | Business Line | The Sportstar | Frontline | The Hindu eBooks | Home |
Copyright © 2003, The
Hindu. Republication or redissemination of the contents of
this screen are expressly prohibited without the written consent of