Bloodbath in Jaipur

Terror strikes in Jaipur. The old city area shook on Tuesday evening with seven serial blasts taking place in the market area in Jaipur. Five of the blasts have been reported to have taken place in Tripolia Bazaar, Manak Chauk, Badi Chaupad, Choti Chaupad and Jauhari bazaar. All five carefully planted in the walled city area and market places. One of the blasts took place near Hanuman Mandir, one near a sweet shop and another near a handloom shop. One of the blasts took place in a car and reports regarding the rest are yet to come.

A confirmed report about the casualties has not arrived from the authorities and the fluctuating toll has reached fifty to sixty by far. About hundred have been injured and they are being treated in Sawai Man Singh Hospital.

The occurrence of the event has been hugely criticized by both the state and central governments. The blasts took place at rush hour. The day being Tuesday, there was a great rush in front of the Hanuman temple as well, where one of the blasts took place. The Minister of State for Home Affairs, Shri Shriprakash Jaiswal expressed his great disregard for the happening and has extended his sympathy for the dead. He said that it was a disgusting act of terrorism which must be condemned in all respects. He also said that they would make sure there is no laxity in the relief work and that the state intelligence would definitely take the matter with utmost seriousness. He also mentioned that he might visit the capital to discuss further course of action very shortly. The leader of Opposition and former Chief Minister of Rajasthan, Shri Ashok Gehlot has also criticized this act of inhumanity and has said that the matters regarding the careless attitude of the state or centre prior to the blasts, would be discussed later. In the meantime, Delhi and other metropolitan cities were declared as high alert.

The fact that blasts happened in a peaceful city like Jaipur has definitely insinuated terror in the minds of many residents. The intensity of the blast was such that it could be heard for miles. Although nothing has been declared about the blasts, there seems to be some similarity with the serial blasts that took place last year in Ajmer Sharif Dargah. If so it can also be referred to as an act of communal violence. Nothing has been revealed regarding whether the act of terror was committed by any religious organization. But the occurrence of one of the blasts near Hanuman Temple is giving rise to such suspicions. The intelligence agencies have not pointed towards any such possibility till now. However, there is little doubt in the minds of the authorities of it being an act of terrorism and it being pre-planned. The question of whether the intelligence agency had any clue regarding the blasts began to be asked in the city. The relief operations have been on. Where the number of dead and injured is concerned, the situation continues to look grim.

Vibhuti Rathore

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