Jaipur–The Test of Temper

Streets red and empty; curfew in half the city; different rumors reckoning the nook and corner every now and then. Welcome to the pink city Jaipur. After twelve hours of the serial bomb blasts, the numbers and figures started coming on floor and they were enough to terrorize even the toughest soul.

A total of nine bomb blasts took place in pairs at six different but nearby places in just 17 minutes. Two live bombs were found and deactivated at two different places. They were timed of about nine o’clock and they gave a clear signal that the terrorists had intentions to prolong the sounds for several hours. The timing and place of blasts was such that they attempted to mislead the police and people present at the place at that time. Blasts were done in series along the parallel roads and were timed such that the people running out of the walled city found a blast wherever they went. The bombs were mostly time-bombs and were of high quality explosives like RDX. The blasts had a peculiar similarity with the blasts at Hyderabad and Varanasi, a few months ago.

About 65 people have been found dead and more than 150 are seriously injured. About twelve bodies are still unclaimed and are mostly of tourists or poor people. Two suspects have been arrested from the area and search operations are going on at full swing in the whole city. To assist the search operations and to prevent any possibility of communal clash, the city has been put on a standstill and curfew has been enforced from 9 am to 6 pm in sensitive and important areas such as Lalkothi, Adarsh Nagar, Galta Gate, Sanjay Circle and Hasanpura. Relaxation is given to take the killed persons for the funeral. The police had to resort to lathi charge in Sawai Mansngh (SMS) Hospital to contain the angry crowd present there and the doctors and facilities of the hospital have been working to their fullest. All the markets in and around the walled city remain completely closed and the scene seems like an emergency or blackout.

Intelligence Bureau (IB) has said that they think that either Harkat-ul-Jehadi Islami (HUJI), which was behind the last year’s Ajmer blasts, or Student Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) or Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) are behind the blasts. According to the IB, HuJI and SIMI has been setting up several sleeper cells in Rajasthan since the past one year. It is said that there could be at least 20 sleeper cells in Rajasthan. The IB says three active terror modules in Rajasthan have been neutralized since 2004. However, no terrorist outfit has yet taken responsibility of the serial blasts. IB has said that there was no prior information regarding an attack on Jaipur. This indicates that the terror modules are targeting places which are not on the radar of the security agencies. Unlike the twin blasts in Hyderabad where ball bearings were used, in the Jaipur blasts, pieces of iron pipes were used as splinters. Even as the police look for more clues, they are also trying to ascertain whether the bombs were triggered of by mobile phones or timer devices. Key information that has been found by the security agencies is that a woman was behind the blasts and she only promised the subjects one lakh rupees for planting the bombs. This key woman is believed to be living on the streets of Jaipur as someone poor for last two to three years.

Most people feel that Jaipur was made a target because Jaipur has been a very peaceful city; the blast and the planning was to catch the place unawares. Also Jaipur is close to the national capital Delhi and is often referred as the sister city to Delhi. Therefore, anything in Jaipur will surely send terror triggers to Delhi. Experts say that there could be a link of serial blasts in Jaipur with the tenth anniversary of the Pokhran-II nuclear tests. This can also be seen in light of the achievements India announced in form of launching ten satellites and in successful test of Agni-IV ballistic missile.

Saurabh Sharma

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