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May 17, 2014

BJP\’s Narendra Modi elected new prime minister of India

BJP’s Narendra Modi elected new prime minister of India

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Saturday, May 17, 2014

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Official image of Narendra Modi in 2013.
Image: Narendra Modi.

Power in India is set to transfer to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the leader Narendra Modi following an election in the world’s largest democracy. The ruling Congress Party conceded defeat yesterday and BJP are set to win a healthy majority of seats. The success for the Hindu nationalist party in the election tracks predicted results from exit polls.

Following the victory, Modi posted on social networking site Twitter “India has won. Good days are about to come”. He then visited his mother to seek her blessing: he touched her feet, she put a vermillion mark on his head and gave him sweets. Thereafter, Modi travelled from his home in the Indian state of Gujarat to Delhi. In Delhi, a victory parade was held for Modi.

Conceding defeat, Sonia Gandhi from the Congress Party said: “We humbly respect the verdict of the people.”

US President Barack Obama and UK Prime Minister David Cameron have both congratulated Modi and invited him to visit Washington and London respectively. Nawaz Sharif, the prime minister of Pakistan, said BJP had won an “impressive victory”.

Modi has been Gujarat chief minister since 2001. Modi has been controversial since a violent riot erupted in Gujarat in 2002 which led to the death of about a thousand people, primarily Muslims. Modi’s critics allege he let the inter-religious violence happen without much effort to stop it. He was subsequently denied visas to travel to the United States, and the United Kingdom cut ties with him.

In 2012, a Special Investigations Team appointed by the Indian Supreme Court found no evidence for Modi’s role in the violence. Following this, the British high commissioner in India decided to reconnect with Modi and invite him to visit London to address the House of Commons. The United States has warmed up to Modi again and in February he met with Nancy Powell, the US ambassador to India. During the elections, Modi attempted to reassure Muslims that he would protect all religious groups in India, telling The Times of India: “I’ve to run the government. Governments run on the basis of Constitution. I believe a government has one religion and that’s India First”.

The outgoing Prime Minister Manmohan Singh released a statement: “As I have said on many occasions, my life and tenure in public office are an open book. I have always tried to do my best in serving this great nation of ours. In the last ten years, we as a country have seen many successes and achievements that we should be proud of. Today, India is a far stronger country in every respect than it was a decade ago.”



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May 2, 2012

Hundreds feared dead after Indian ferry boat capsizes

Hundreds feared dead after Indian ferry boat capsizes

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Wednesday, May 2, 2012

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Two small fishing boats framed by hills on both sides of the Saraighat Bridge across the river Brahmaputra.

A double-decker ferry capsized late Monday in the Brahmaputra River near Guwahati, India. The ferry was over capacity when a storm caused it to overturn and break in half. The ferry passengers were mostly women and children. Officials estimate there are at least 200 casualties. Inclement weather hindered rescue attempts and as of Tuesday, 103 bodies have been recovered. No life jackets or lifeboats were aboard the ferry at the time of the event.

According to officials, many of the bodies may have floated 25 miles down river to Bangladesh, due to strong currents. The river is a vital source of irrigation and transportation to the people along its coast. It is approximately 1,800 miles long, making rescue efforts difficult to pursue quickly. Rescuers are working around the clock in efforts to locate any remaining survivors.

About 150 passengers swam to a nearby shore. The remaining passengers are missing and are feared dead. Reports indicate this is one of the worst ferry accidents ever recorded in India. Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh issued a statement expressing his remorse over the death of the passengers and announcing that he would compensate the next of kin of all casualties Rs 200,000, or about $4,000 US dollars.



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April 25, 2011

Renowned Indian guru Śrī Satya Sai Baba dies aged 84

Renowned Indian guru Śrī Satya Sai Baba dies aged 84

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Monday, April 25, 2011

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File:Бхагаван Шри Сатья Саи Баба.jpg

Śrī Satya Sai Baba, taken by one of his followers
(Image missing from commons: image; log)

Śrī Satya Sai Baba, one of India’s most prominent spiritual leaders and revered by millions of followers worldwide, died Sunday in a Puttaparthi hospital, following a cardiac arrest. He was 84 and had been in hospital since last month, suffering from kidney failure and respiratory problems.

Followers and devotees of Śrī Baba considered him to be the manifestation of a “living God” on Earth and believed he had powers of magic, such as being able to pull things from out of thin air.

Former Indian Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee was one of Śrī Baba’s followers, as was international test cricketer Sachin Tendulkar.

Worshippers carried Baba’s image through the streets of Bangalore and extra police were deployed in his hometown of Puttaparthi. In Delhi, masses gathered in temples and some refused to accept Baba’s death.

With an estimated six million followers, Baba saw donations allow for the expansion of his home village to include many temples, a hospital offering free medical care, a university, and an airport. His first permanent facility opened 60 years ago.

Born Sathyanarayana Raju, Baba decided at the age of fourteen that he was the reincarnation of 19th-century guru Sai Baba of Shirdi. The legend runs that Baba was stung by a scorpion and then sang religious chants in a language previously unknown to him. He predicted his death in 2019, as well as a third and final reincarnation in Karnataka state in 2023.

Cquote1.svg He was a spiritual leader who inspired millions to lead a moral and meaningful life even as they followed the religion of their choice Cquote2.svg

—Prime Minister Singh

Nobody has been appointed to take over running the trust that promotes the faith, which has over 1,200 centres worldwide. There are fears the family and trust could argue, leading to a government takeover. “If the government has to take over the affairs of Sai Baba’s mission that could spell its end,” warned one devotee.

“Some people out of their mean-mindedness are trying to tarnish the image of Sai Baba,” said Baba in 2000, after allegations of sexual abuse were made against him by young men, claims the BBC highlighted in 2004. “I am not after name and fame. So, I do not lose anything by their false allegations. My glory will go on increasing day by day,” Baba added.

Claims that Śrī Baba was a charlatan and allegations of sexual abuse dogged him constantly. In 1993, six people “died violently in the spiritual leader’s private rooms,” The Guardian reported. No full explanation has ever been given for the deaths, though speculation of a money dispute has been raised.

In a statement, current Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said that the death of the guru was an “”irreparable loss” to India, adding, “He was a spiritual leader who inspired millions to lead a moral and meaningful life even as they followed the religion of their choice.”

The guru’s body is being kept at the hospital amid appeals for his devotees not to flood them to see his body. The public viewing of Śrī Baba’s body will take place Monday and Tuesday, and a funeral will follow. There are to be four days of mourning in his home state, Andhra Pradesh, by decree of the state government.



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November 5, 2009

India doubles Commonwealth Games budget

Filed under: Delhi,India,Manmohan Singh,Sports — admin @ 5:00 am

India doubles Commonwealth Games budget – Wikinews, the free news source

India doubles Commonwealth Games budget

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Thursday, November 5, 2009

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File photo of Ambika Soni, Information and Broadcasting Minister of India
Image: World Economic Forum.

The Indian government has raised the budget of the 2010 New Delhi Commonwealth Games from Rs. 767 crore ($163 million) to Rs. 1,620 crore ($344 million). The decision was made at a meeting of the cabinet led by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in New Delhi.

Ambika Soni, the Information and Broadcasting Minister stated, “The cabinet approved the proposal of the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports for providing a revised budget of Rs. 1,620 crore, as loan to the Organising Committee (OC) of the Commonwealth Games, 2010, at the prevailing government rate of interest.”

According to the Minister, the organizing board hoped that to generate a net income of approximately Rs. 1,708 crore.

“The components of rent for organising headquarters, technology which were practically nil in the initial budget, are now around Rs. 175 crore and Rs. 200 crore respectively. These have also contributed substantially to the (budget) increase”, said the Minister when asked about the reason for the hike. Sponsorships, TV rights and ticketing were other factors influencing the change.

Alongside this, the Queen’s Baton Relay will now encompass all the 70 Commonwealth Games Association nations.

In the international leg, the number of days has been increased to 240 from the previously approved 136 days while on the domestic leg, there has been an increase from 60 days to 100 days.

“The number of volunteers has also gone up to nearly 30,000 and hence the cost of accreditation, catering, uniform, on this account has increased,” said Soni.



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January 24, 2009

Heart bypass for Indian Premier Dr. Manmohan Singh at AIIMS, Pranab Mukherjee takes charge

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Saturday, January 24, 2009

Former US President George W. Bush and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh exchange handshakes on March 2, 2006, at the Hyderabad House in New Delhi.

Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will undergo heart surgery over the weekend and the country’s External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee is expected to take charge in his absence, officials and media reports said Friday. Singh, 76, underwent a coronary angiography as part of a series of heart-related tests at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) on Tuesday and Wednesday and was discharged on Thursday.

Dr Manmohan Singh, age 76, is the 17th and current Prime Minister of the Republic of India. He also serves as the Union Minister for Finance, succeeding P. Chidambaram.

Pranab Kumar Mukherjee, a native of West Bengal, India, is the Minister for External Affairs of India in the Manmohan Singh-led Government of India. A prominent leader of the Indian National Congress in the 14th Lok Sabha, he is known to be a competent party apparatchik, “a prominent Gandhi family loyalist who did not win a popular election until 2004”.

All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) central lawn, with teaching block in the background.

A team of doctors from AIIMS and the Asian Heart Institute (AHI), Mumbai performed the surgery. The AHI team included Rama Kant Panda, cardiac surgeon, Vijay Desilva, ICU specialist, and Narendra Garach, anesthetist, AIIM sources said. “The team has brought about 20 boxes of special equipment with it. Earlier, Dr K S Reddy (the PM&aposs personal physician) had discussions with Dr Panda in connection with the line of treatment to be followed,” they said.

Pranab Mukherjee has been given the charge of Finance Ministry after he held meetings with Congress President Sonia Gandhi and then Prime Minister Singh. Mukherjee said he would meet the Prime Minister because he was going for treatment and when he was abroad, Singh was in hospital. “These are quite natural things. You should not be unnecessarily worried over and coming here in large numbers,” he said.

During the PM’s incapacity, Mukherjee will also preside over Cabinet meetings and will further handle coal, environment and forests, including information and broadcasting portfolios. Singh will have to rest after the procedure and will be able to resume work only by March. PMO sources said that Singh may take rest for two-three weeks after the surgery.

Singh underwent a coronary angiography at the AIIMS hospital on Tuesday and Wednesday and was discharged on Thursday. The tests results revealed multiple arterial blockages and Singh returned to hospital on Friday for pre-surgery tests.

Singh, a diabetic, underwent a bypass surgery in Britain in 1990 and had an angioplasty in 2004 in Delhi in which stents were introduced in his arteries. He had earlier been operated for a benign enlarged prostate in 2007, and for nerve compression in both wrists in 2006 and cataract removal procedure last year, officials said.

The Congress Party, which leads the coalition Government, has said that he will remain Prime Minister if Congress and its allies win again. But Congress is reportedly planning to replace him, possibly within two years, with Rahul Gandhi, the 38-year-old son of Sonia Gandhi, the Italian-born Congress leader. “Days are not far off for Rahul Gandhi to become Indian Prime Minister,” Mr Mukherjee said earlier this month.

Rahul is an Indian politician and member of the Parliament of India, representing the Amethi constituency. He is a member of the Nehru-Gandhi family, the most prominent political family in India. He is the son of current Italian-born Congress President Sonia Gandhi, and former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, who was assassinated in 1991. Gandhi was 14 years old when his grandmother, Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, was assassinated by her security guards. His great-grandfather, Jawaharlal Nehru, was the first Prime Minister of India, and his great-great-grandfather Motilal Nehru was a distinguished leader of the Indian independence movement.


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Learn more about Manmohan Singh and Pranab Kumar Mukherjee on Wikipedia.
  • Jeremy Page “India’s Prime Minister Manmohan Singh undergoes heart bypass surgery”. The Times, January 23, 2009
  • Dpa “Indian prime minister to undergo heart surgery – Update”. The Earth Times, January 23, 2009
  • ICT by IANS “PM’s heart surgery likely Saturday, Pranab to officiate”. Thaindian News, January 23, 2009
  • “Dr. Manmohan Singh Prime Minister of India”. pmindia.nic.in, 2009
  • “Details of Member: Shri Pranab Mukherjee”. india.gov.in/govt/, 2009
  • “Rahul Gandhi”. nilacharal.com, 2009
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October 17, 2006

Foreign Secretary level talks between India and Pakistan to resume in November

Foreign Secretary level talks between India and Pakistan to resume in November

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Tuesday, October 17, 2006

The dialogue between India and Pakistan will resume on 13 November, when the Foreign Secretaries of both nations meet in New Delhi. The officials will discuss a wide range of issues, including the joint anti-terror mechanism, as a part of which India will offer its neighbour evidence of the involvement of Pakistani nationals and the ISI in the 11/7 blasts in Mumbai.

Shiv Shankar Menon, who served as India’s High Commissioner to Islamabad before taking over as Foreign Secretary will meet his Pakistani counterpart Riaz Mohammad Khan on the 13 and 14 of November to discuss and review the ongoing peace-process between the two countries. The talks were earlier put off following the July bombings and the subsequent indications of Pakistan’s role in those attacks. New Delhi “hopes” that the discussions between these high-ranking officials will lead to the early implementation of the joint anti-terror mechanism, which was agreed upon by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and President Pervez Musharraf during the NAM summit in Cuba earlier this year.

India is expected to hand over evidence, including telephone recording, of the Pakistani involvement in the bombings, and seek the extradition of suspects from Pakistan. Pakistan has said that India’s claims of the ISI’s hand in the attacks were “unsubstantiated” and “baseless” even though ivestigations revealed that 11 Pakistani nationals were directly involved in the blasts. “We have to give them evidence. We will give them credible evidence. We feel that there is involvement of elements (based) in Pakistan,” Prime Minister Singh said. “We will test them once we have given them evidence.”

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October 2, 2006

India celebrates Mahatma Gandhi\’s 137th Birthday anniversary

India celebrates Mahatma Gandhi’s 137th Birthday anniversary

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Monday, October 2, 2006

Mahatma Gandhi (October 2, 1869 – January 30, 1948)

Indians paid tribute today to the father of the nation, Mohandas Karamchand Mahatma Gandhi on the 137th anniversary of his birth. Several dignitaries, including President A.P.J Abdul Kalam, Vice-President Bhairon Singh Shekhawat, Congress Party President Sonia Gandhi and the Leader of the Opposition L.K Advani paid homage to the Mahatma (great soul) at his memorial in Rajghat in New Delhi. Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh was unable to attend the event as he is currently in South Africa on an official visit.

The leaders paid floral tributes to Gandhiji at the mausoleum and attended an inter-religious prayer meeting. A 24-hour marathon spinning of the charka (used during the swadeshi movement) is also in progress. The cast of the Bollywood film Lage Raho Munnabhai also participated in a peace-march in Mumbai. The event was organised by MP Priya Dutt, and was also attended by eminent actors such as Shabana Azmi.

The centenary of the satyagraha movement launched by Gandhiji was also marked this year. Mahatma Gandhi played an important part in the freedom struggle, such as launching the Non-Cooperation, Boycott and Quit India movements against the oppressive British Raj in India. Gandhiji, or Bapu as he is affectionately referred to, was a follower of ahimsa (non-violence) and used it in the freedom-struggle.

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July 13, 2006

Investigation into Mumbai train bombings begins

Investigation into Mumbai train bombings begins

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Thursday, July 13, 2006

The toll in yesterday’s serial bombings on Mumbai’s commuter trains has risen to 200 killed, with 714 people injured, according to the official estimate released by the Police. 127 victims have been identified and a further 56 remain unidentified, the estimate said. No group has so far claimed responsibility for the attacks. Indian authorities have said that the Kashmiri militant group Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) may be involved. An LeT spokesman has denied any involvement.

The day after the blast, schools, colleges and offices functioned normally in Mumbai and the commuter train service targeted in the bombings was operational. Many commuters rode the trains to work, though their numbers were smaller than usual. The Bombay Stock Exchange, located in the city shrugged off the bombings, with the BSE SENSEX gaining 3 percent on opening, calming fears that economic confidence will be undermined by the blasts.

Investigation underway

The Maharashtra state government has announced a reward of Rs. 25,000,000 (about US $55,000) for information leading to the arrest of the perpetrators. A number of people, reported to be 350[1] have been detained for interrogation, but no arrests have been made. Police are working on preparing sketches of possible suspects, news reports say.

The Times of India newspaper reported that Indian intelligence officials believe that Lashkar-e-Toiba and the banned Students Islamic Movement of India were behind the blasts. The Home Ministry confirmed the involvement of Students Islamic Movement of India[2]. The Chief Secretary to the Maharashtra state government, D K Shankaran told Reuters news agency “So far it looks like there was a substantial involvement of Lashkar-e-Toiba with local support,”[3].

P.S. Pasricha, director-general of police in Maharashtra, speaking to reporters, said that while it was too early to say who is responsible for the attacks, the coordinated explosions were in the style of Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT), which has been blamed for carrying out similar attacks before. Indian authorities have accused Kashmiri militant groups such as the Lashkar, Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) and the Hizb-ul-Mujahideen of attacks on civilians before. The Mumbai underworld is another potential suspect – a series of bombings in Mumbai in 1993 which killed 250 people are believed to have been planned by a Mafia don Dawood Ibrahim. India alleges that Ibrahim lives in Pakistan and has long maintained that Lashkar-e-Toiba and Jaish-e-Mohammed have been trained and supported by Pakistan in the past.

Spokesmen for the Lashkar-e-Toiba and Hizb-ul-Mujahideen have denied any role in the attacks. The LeT spokesman said that LeT could “feel the pain of the victims” of the attacks as the people of Kashmir have been suffering “the same pain for the last 17 years at the hands of the Indian security forces”, adding that an “independent investigation should be carried out… so that the people behind the attack can be exposed”.

“Attacks on civilians are not part of our manifesto. We never carried out such attacks nor will allow anyone to do so,” said Ehsan Elahi, spokesman for the Hizb-ul-Mujahideen.

International condemnation

The attacks have been condemned by a number of countries around the world. India’s neighbours Pakistan, and Afghanistan; the UK, France, Italy and the EU; Spain, which witnessed a similar attack in 2004; South Africa, the United States, Australia and the UN Secretary General amongst others have spoken out against the attacks.

A statement released by Pakistan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs condemned the attacks, saying “Terrorism is a bane of our times and it must be condemned, rejected and countered effectively and comprehensively.”

India faults Pakistan Foreign Secretary statement

The Pakistani Foreign Minister Khurshid Mehmood Kasuri, after condemning the attack, noted that not much progress has been made on Kashmir problem, he said, “incremental approach is good but now we must tackle real issues. And this is the best way of tackling extremism in South Asia”.

India took exception to this remark. External Affairs Ministry spokesman Navtej Sarna described the statement as ‘appalling’, saying Mr Kasuri’s “remarks appear to suggest that Pakistan will cooperate with India against the scourge of cross-border terrorism and terrorist violence only if such so-called disputes are resolved,”.

He urged Pakistan to “dismantle the infrastructure of terrorism” on territory under its control and act in the spirit of the joint statement reached between the two countries on January 6, 2004.

Foreign Secretary Shyam Saran told a news channel on Wednesday that India may review some of the confidence building measures it is jointly developing with Pakistan, following the attacks. A meeting between Mr. Saran and his Pakistani counterpart, scheduled to take place on July 20-21, is also under question, with the External Affairs Ministry spokesman Navtej Sarna failing to make any announcement regarding the date.

Pakistan’s foreign ministry rejected these accusations in a statement, saying Mr Kasuri’s remarks had been misreported and denying he had drawn a link between the bombings and the Kashmir dispute. and said that Pakistan was “in the forefront of international efforts to fight [the] menace” of terrorism.

Prime Minister addresses nation

In an address to the nation, the Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh expressed his condolences to the victims of the attacks and to their families, saying that India stands by the people of Mumbai and Srinagar (where 8 people were killed in a grenade attack yesterday) “in this hour of grief”. “My heart goes out to those who have lost their loved ones”, he said.

He acknowledged the “courage and humanism” shown in the response to the attacks and the efforts of the emergency and service personnel and the public in the aftermath of the tragedy.

Saying that Mumbai is the symbol of a united, inclusive India, he said that India will “continue to walk tall, and with confidence despite the attack”.

The Union Home minister Shivraj Patil, the Congress party chief Sonia Gandhi and Railway Minister Laloo Prasad Yadav visited Matunga Road railway station late yesterday. Mr Patil appealed for unity and restraint in responding to the attack. Mr Yadav has announced an ex-gratia compensation of Rs 5,00,000 (US $11,000) to the families of the dead and promised jobs in the railways for the families who have lost earning members in the bombings.

Opposition BJP calls for tougher anti-terrorism measures

The Leader of the Opposition L K Advani and President of the Opposition Bharatiya Janata Party Rajnath Singh, who visited the blast sites and the met with the injured, called the bombings “an attack on India”.

A resolution adopted by the BJP office-bearers criticised the central UPA government, charging that it was sending “consistent signals that the initiative against terrorism can be traded for votes”. However, Mr. Advani said that “it was not the time for criticising the government”. He said that the blasts showed up the need for a stringent anti-terrorism law and that the authorities must not give an impression that they are willing to compromise national security.

In 2004, The UPA government had repealed such a law, the Prevention of Terrorist Activities Act enacted by the previous BJP-led government.

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  • “Several blasts rock Mumbai commuter trains” — Wikinews, July 11, 2006

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July 11, 2006

Several blasts rock Mumbai commuter trains

Several blasts rock Mumbai commuter trains

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Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Map showing the ‘Western line’ and blast locations.

Seven bombs exploded Tuesday at various local railway stations in the city of Mumbai, India between 6:24 pm and 6:35 pm IST (GMT+5:30).

The first blast ripped through the first-class compartment of a local train from Churchgate to Borivali, near the Khar station. Subsequent blasts occurred at Bhayandar station near Mira Road, Mahim station, Matunga, Jogeshwari and Borivali. A seventh blast has occurred in the Khar-Santacruz subway. Local phone lines in Mumbai have been jammed. The Press Trust of India, quoting railway officials, said all seven explosions had targeted first-class cars. An eighth bomb was later defused at the Borivali station.

According to official report at least 183 people have died and over 714 were injured in the blasts, although the figures could rise given the fact that Western Railway trains are very crowded during the evening rush hour. Police are reportedly conducting raids throughout India in response to the bombings. Officials in Mumbai claim the explosions were a deliberate attack. India’s Home Minister Shivraj Patil said authorities had “some” information that an attack was coming “but place and time was not known”. Heavy monsoon downpours have hampered the rescue efforts of the emergency services.

The Indian capital New Delhi has reportedly been put on high alert after the blasts. Airports across the country are also on high alert as are sensitive installations in Mumbai. Mumbai’s train system has been suspended and calls are made to keep the public away from the city’s train stations.

Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh called a emergency cabinet meeting and then released a statement saying that the bombings which have hit India lately are “shocking and cowardly attempts to spread a feeling of fear and terror among our citizens”. The country’s leading opposition party, BJP, claimed that the current policies of the government put the country in danger for terrorism.

There has been no claim of responsibility, but the attack has the trademarks of Kashmiri Islamic terrorist groups like the Lashkar-e-Toiba. The group is known to have has set off bombs in quick succession in Indian cities before. India’s domestic intelligence agency, the Intelligence Bureau, claims that this attack, as also the grenade attacks in Jammu and Kashmir earlier today were aimed at diverting attention from the elections being held in Pakistani Kashmir.

A terrorist and key supplier of explosives were arrested in Jangpura area of Central Delhi on Monday after a tip-off. The police recovered 2 kg of RDX, an explosive widely used by the military, in his possession. The police are interrogating him to find out if he had anything to do with the recent bombings.

Local helpline numbers

Hospitals [to which injured have been taken]
Cooper Hospital  : 26207254, 26207256
Hinduja Hospital : 24451515, 24452222
Lilavati Hospital: 26438281, 26438282
Western Railway

  • 022-22005388
  • 022-23094064
  • 022-23004000
  • 131

Emergency Services

  • 100
  • 101

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11 July 2006 Mumbai train bombings
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May 31, 2006

Tourist bus attacked by militants in Kashmir

Filed under: Asia,AutoArchived,India,Manmohan Singh,Tourism — admin @ 5:00 am

Tourist bus attacked by militants in Kashmir

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Wednesday, May 31, 2006 Terrorists in Kashmir threw a grenade at a tourist bus in the heart of Srinagar, killing one person and injuring 21 others. Eyewitnesses say that the vehicle, in which were travelling tourists from West Bengal was attacked near the Dal Gate. The injured are being treated at the Kashmir Institute for Medical Sciences.

No terrorist outfit has yet claimed responsibility for this attack, which is the fourth incident this week. This is also the second time tourists were the targets. The number of militant attacks this month has increased after Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh decided to hold a round table conference with the moderate parties in Kashmir.

State Tourism Director Farooq Ahmed Shah condemned the attack saying, “It is a very unfortunate incident and we are trying our level best to improve the situation. However, it is unfair to say that tourists are unsafe in the Valley. Such incidents take place all over the world.” Tour operators however are concerned that attacks such as this one will result in customers calling off trips to Kashmir.

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