Red City Jaipur

On a usual Tuesday evening, the most happening markets of India were painted red. The terrorists once again struck the most peaceful and happening tourist destinations of India and made it the mourning ground of terror. Pink city Jaipur or Joypur, as it is popularly known, was shocked by seven serial blasts yesterday. They all took place in the old walled city and took just about half an hour to rock the whole nation.

This area is the densest of the city, especially during summer evenings and is a tourist and business hub. The bomb blasts took place at Choti Chaupar, Badi Chaupar, Jauhari Bazaar, Tripolia Bazzar and Jaleb Chauk, an area of less than one kilometer diameter. Choti and Badi Chaupar are like two lifelines for this walled area of Jaipur and Jauhari Bazzar is the Jewelers’ Market. Both of them quite sensitive in terms of money and security. Jaleb Chauk and Tripolia Bazaar are the hot spots for tourists with major hotels, monuments and shops like LMB, BMB, National Handloom, Hawamahal, etc. It took the insurgents less than thirty minutes to turn this busy market into a running ground for thousands of traders and shoppers at around seven in the evening. There is also the news that two live bombs were found which were prevented from bursting. More than fifty people are feared dead and more than a hundred and fifty people are injured and were rushed to the central Sawai ManSingh (SMS) Hospital. In the blasts in Jaipur, it is not yet clear which explosives were used, but the blasts were of medium to high frequency and were heard for hundreds of meters, even in this crowded marketplace. The blasts were primarily aimed at three things viz. to disrupt the religious harmony of one of the most peaceful states of India, to paralyze the financial hub of Rajasthan, and to create a sense of fear in the minds of the foreign and domestic tourists coming to this golden triangle destination. The Home Ministry and state government have taken immediate efforts and sealed the entire are of the walled city. Anti-terrorist squads were rushed in from both Delhi and Mumbai to jaipur for further investigations of the blasts. Both the central and state government and the leaders of opposition have condemned the blasts and offered their empathy and support to the people of Rajasthan. The governments have also appealed to people for keeping religious harmony and calm.

These blasts took place in succession to the blasts of October 11, 2007 in the Dargah of Ajmer Sharif at Ajmer. These blasts took place about seven months ago. They were also aimed at the religious plurality of the region and as an attempt to provoke communal riots. The area chosen for blasts is not only very crowded, but is also a very sensitive zone where the ratio of Hindu and Muslims is almost equal to the significant population of people from backward classes. So what terrorists have attempted to do is to create a suitable environment for communal violence to disrupt peace, which can further worsen the condition of the common man. This will then lead to an imbalance in the political arena and thus can create a vicious cycle of economic-religious intolerance; and this can be the most fatal thing for a country like India. Furthermore, the location of Rajasthan is such that it has the longest border with Pakistan and has an extreme desert climate. These are the reasons because of which a separate command of army is made exclusively for Rajasthan, known as south-western command. These serial bomb blasts are also being seen as the reply of terrorist outfits to the efforts the Indian government is undertaking to establish peace in the western region. These include fencing the whole border, creating Para-military forces for the region and making a separate command for the region.

This is the time for the people of India to stand up with the people of Rajasthan, on the podium of brotherhood for the motive of peace and prosperity and give a signal to all those terrorists that we are one and that no one can play with the lives and emotions of the people of India.

Saurabh Sharma

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