Terrorism in Mumbai
Most of you are probably aware by now – cowardly terrorists have stuck again in Mumbai. There has been seven explosions on local trains at various stations on the western line. The latest updates say about 100 dead and more than 400 injured.
Phone lines to Mumbai are expectedly busy – I was able to get in touch with my sister after trying for an hour. She said some incoming lines are working but they are unable to call/sms anyone. Mumbai Help has a post where people are trying to help each other out in getting touch with relatives and friends in Mumbai. This is probably the best place to get updates and news – even for people in Mumbai – if you have a working net connection, the blog is trying to update information on road traffic and help-centers.
This incident is quite terrible. The nature of the attacks – coordinated explosions, high-intensity explosives ( the train compartments have been ripped off and the roof was blown off at one of the stations), striking at heavily populated commuter lines during rush hours – all show signs of al-Quaeda inspired Madrid and London-style bombings. But before we can begin the analysis of who was responsible and how to react – we should let the dust settle, and most importantly, get help as fast as possible to those who need it – right now.
Unfortunately and sadly, some people are already putting their favorite spin on the incident – political or commercial. Instapundit is furiously linking to pro-Bush (or anti anti-Bush) blog posts and going at this from an anti-liberal angle; both Gaurav Sabnis and Amit Varma mention how Rajdeep Sardesai of IBN-CNN is continuously taking credit about being the " ..the first to report these blasts."
Once again – please go to this blog if you need help or can help in any way.
1. It is heartening to hear a sane statement coming from a politician in place of the usual rhetoric and empty sympathy. According to Gaurav Sabnis:
Sharad Pawar made a very sensible comment – "The Railway Minister, Home Minister and others may want to visit the site and the victims. And it is a natural reactions. But when VIPs visit so soon, it is seen that the attention of doctors and other staff at hospital goes more into looking after the VIPs. And the victims suffer. So my appeal to VIPs is not to visit the victims so soon."
2. Wonder how he kept a straight face while making this statement:
Pakistani President Gen. Pervez Musharraf offered condolences over the loss of life, the Foreign Ministry said, adding: "Terrorism is a bane of our times and it must be condemned, rejected and countered effectively and comprehensively."
3. Just got back home and switched on CNN – had to wait about twenty minutes before any mention was made about the Mumbai blasts. There was approximately four minutes of coverage – most of it included an analysis about the importance of Mumbai train system using Google Earth (something I could have done on my computer) then switching over to a story about security increase in New York City subway (which is not under any direct threat) for another two minutes. On CNN Headline News, they made it sound as if the latter was the major story.
Still, the shots of carnage were horrific.