The Blasts that Rocked Delhi

Less than a month before Durga Puja, Navratras and Id, which mark the arrival of the festive season in India, as expected people thronged the markets in Delhi like everywhere else. I too, with my ma had gone to GK 1 M block market, in the evening. My mother was in a hurry to get to South Extension (another up market bazaar) and my cries of savoring my favorite ice lollies from Prince Pan, fell on deaf ears and I drove us out from there around 6 p.m. Within minutes my dad called, informing us of our own narrow escape and numerous calls followed till I was safely back home, which took me an hour (otherwise a drive of about 20 minutes).

So Delhi was hit again!5 low intensity rocked the capital on a Saturday evening within 40-50 minutes of each other.. The Union Ministry declared the blasts used were of low intensity and that timer devices were used. This time the targets were crowded market areas. 3 major markets were hit. Gaffar Market of Karol Bagh, a business hub, witnessed the first of the serial blasts around 6:10 p.m. Bomb was attached to an abandoned auto rickshaw. This was followed with 2 blasts in the Central Park area of Connaught Place, the heart of Delhi (literally) . Here the bombs were found to be in dustbins. Next around 6:20p.m. GK 1 M Block marked was rocked with 2 blasts exploding within minutes of each other. One near Prince Pan Corner, in a dustbin and the other at the other end near Chawla Jewelers.

The only good news heard was that 3 more bombs were found but diffused successfully at some strategic locations. One being the India Gate, a symbol of the country’s independence with the forever ignited Amar Jawan Jyoti. The other two bombs were diffused in one of the oldest movie halls in Delhi, Regal Cinema in Connaught Place and another one in Central Park. At the time of writing this article, the number of injured had reached about a 90 and 20 were reportedly dead. The victims were rushed to nearby hospitals like the Ram Manohar Lohia etc. Passer bys had gathered and helped the injured. Delhi Police surprisingly reached on time at all the sites. Many witnesses turned up to help police with the investigation. One man was even held in Karol Bagh area for questioning. A 12 year old boy named Rahul, a balloon seller near India Gate, claimed to have seen 2-3 light bearded men in Black kurtas disposing off a black polythene bag in a dustbin minutes before the first bomb blast occurred.

Indian Mujahideen claimed responsibility by sending another email stating their objective and their targets. Surprisingly the mail had come from the same id used in case of the Ahmedabad blasts. They had marked Delhi as their target in the earlier mail as well.

There are loads of questions unanswered that the public would want to know. Like why even after threats was the security lax? How can a bomb get so near the India Gate , a high security area, receiving thousands of visitors a day? Was the New Delhi Railway station blocked after the blasts, as that was the closest escape route these people had? But right now is a time to tend to the people who have suffered and mourn for those innocent lives that have been lost. As for me, even few hours after the incident, I am still a little shaken up. Confused whether to sigh with relief at my escape, or mourn for the victims or feel enraged and betrayed that time and again, our government has failed us exposing our country’s vulnerability as if waiting for blasts to occur. But we should not let these incidents bring us down. The Indian spirit is unbreakable. We will overcome and stand united. Mumbai and Ahmedabad have shown us the way . Now its Delhi’s turn.

Shruti Choudhary

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