Bloodied Mumbai gets back on its feet; toll 190 | india | Hindustan Times
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Bloodied Mumbai gets back on its feet; toll 190

"It's a little scary but we have to return to work," says a 24-yr-old Mumbaikar. In pics | Share your experience | SurferSpeakEyewitness account | List of casualties

india Updated: Jul 12, 2006 16:40 IST
Agencies

Millions of people packed trains and buses to get to work in Mumbai on Wednesday, as the country's financial hub shook off seven bombs on its vital commuter rail network that killed at least 190 people.

Investigators picked through mangled train compartments to search for clues as to who was behind Tuesday's coordinated bomb blasts.

"It's a little scary. We have no option but to go back to work," said 24-year-old Amita Rane, a chartered accountant.

Nearly 700 people were wounded when seven bombs blew apart railway carriages and stations packed with rush-hour commuters in the space of just 11 minutes.

The death toll was the worst since a series of bombs killed more than 250 people in Mumbai in 1993.

Copycat terror

"My first thought is that this is copycat terrorism based on the London and Madrid pattern," Peter Lehr at the Centre for the Study of Terrorism and Political Violence at Britain's St. Andrews University said.

Extra police were deployed at railway stations, parks, markets and religious institutions across the country to prevent further attacks and possible violence. Checkpoints were also set up on key roads in major cities.

The explosions happened hours after a series of grenade attacks on tourists in Srinagar.

Newspapers quoted unnamed security sources as naming Lashkar as the prime suspect for the Mumbai blasts.

External Affairs Minister Minister Anand Sharma said the blasts were aimed at "wrecking" the peace process between but New Delhi remained committed to improving ties with Islamabad.

City shows heart

Mumbai is a teeming metropolis of contrasts, with glitzy high-rise office and apartment blocks standing side-by-side with slums and pavement dwellers.

Mumbai residents went out of their way to help fellow city dwellers, offering rides in cars, providing water, and biscuits as well as taking the dead and injured to hospitals.  

"We're used to crises here," said Makaran Bhopatkar, a 35-year-old corporate trainer. "The city survives."

Muslims in areas near the blasts helped injured Hindus to hospitals and gave cups of tea to family members.

Overnight, people crowded hospitals to identify family and friends among the corpses, many badly mutilated and charred.

Authorities were running more buses on routes where train services had yet to resume.

The benchmark Bombay Stock Exchange index was little changed in morning trade on Wednesday but bond yields rose to their highest since December 2001. The rupee slipped against the dollar, but analysts did not expect a lasting impact.

"The bomb blasts do not alter our fundamental view of the Indian economy," Rajeev Malik, analyst with JP Morgan, said.