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Where Next? – India, Vulnerable to Terrorism

Terrorism is often aimed at creating havoc within a country and create fear among the people. Many a time it has ideological overtones or religious sentiments as its driving force. Whatever it may be, it leaves the victims totally shattered emotionally, that is incase they survive the attack. Those who are related to the victims experience feeling of disbelief, whereas the conscious citizens voice agony and anger at the perpetrators of the attack, who manage to get away with their heinous crime.

India is no exception to this phenomena. Now, the target of Muslim radical and fundamentalist terrorists groups, it off and on falls a prey to their religious fanaticism. Despite all provocation, the citizens have retained their secular beliefs and have not given into such pressure tactics of such partisan groups, who either would like to create religious disharmony within the country or paralyze the economy.

Shock and disbelief and a chill down the spine was how the residents felt about the recent bomb blasts in Bengaluru, where 8 synchronized bombs blasts went off in a row on July 25, killing one woman and leaving eight injured. The IT hub city was totally aghast. This was nothing new to them though. On earlier occasions also, the terrorists targeted it. In December 2005, they felt the same way when a gathering of scientists at the Indian Institute of Science (IIsc) was targeted. It was brutal indeed.

Bengaluru has been a center of Islamic radicalization. In fact, southern India has been good refuge for these terrorists. One may recall that Kafeel Ahmed, who was involved in the Glasgow bombing incident, underwent his jihadi transformation in a mosque in Bengaluru.

The present bomb blasts are considered to be the handicraft of SIMI (Student Islamic Movement of India) and Lashkar-e-Taiba, although no claims have been made at the time of the incident.

Those working in the IT centers in Bengaluru were in a flux and panicked. They were keen on getting back home. Concerned parents rang up schools to see if their children were alright.

Next to follow was Ahmedabad, capital city of Gujarat. The city was the target of 17 blasts within 70 minutes, killing around 50 people and injuring 110, many of them seriously. Utter chaos prevailed within the city. The blast took place in the most crowded area of the city. Even hospitals were not spared. One blast took place at the LG hospital and another one at the Ahmedabad Civil Hospital. An ambulance in a hurry to reach a patient to the hospital did not make it. It got blasted, killing 8 people. Even doctors were not spared at these hospitals. Protectors of life have become victims of death themselves.

Most of the bombs were placed behind bicycles in tiffin (small lunch) boxes contained in bags made up of blue polythene. They had timer devices as well as microprocessors.

The terrorist activities have extended beyond state borders. In fact, bomb blasts incidents in Hyderabad have been linked up with terrorist activities in Bengaluru. The bombs that were defused in Surat and Ahmedabad were quite similar to those used at Gokul Chat Bhandar and Lumbini Park in Hyderabad. This only shows how the nexus operates.

Terrorists strike time and again. They take the people unaware. Of course, citizens know that the terrorists will strike again, but they carry on with their daily activities. When? And Where? are questions difficult to answer. The terrorists strike at crowded places for maximum impact.

When will all this end? Our Government has yet to take stringent action against such anti-national activities as bomb blasts continue to occur. It appears the terrorists have an upper hand as they know they can strike at any place at any time. Bombing of 2 cities in 24 hours is no less an achievement for them. Who is stopping them to do so? For the average citizen, who is not affected, it may be another incident that may have come and gone. But for those affected and their families, the memory will continue to plague them at every stage of their life. The worst thing, with so many having been killed, yet no concrete measures have been taken to put an end to horrendous acts. These bomb blasts are just incidents to be recorded in the annals of history. The Government may be busy sorting out nuclear deals through trust votes and trying to bring in financial reforms. But all these issues can be dealt with if people are secure and the fabric of the nation is not under threat.

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