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Gulf NRIs shocked at Mumbai blasts

People in the region remained riveted to TV sets as post-blast scenes were beamed by news channels.

india Updated: Jul 12, 2006 15:47 IST

Non-resident Indians (NRIs) in the Gulf have expressed shock and outrage at the serial blasts in Mumbai that claimed over 180 lives.

People in the region remained riveted to television sets as post-blast scenes were beamed live by various news channels.

Many received the news first through text messages on their mobile phones from their relatives in Mumbai.

Later, attempts to contact their relatives in Mumbai also failed because the telephone lines to India's financial capital remained jammed following the seven explosions in suburban trains on Tuesday evening.

An NRI in Qatar, hailing from Vile Parle in Mumbai, told the Peninsula newspaper: "Mumbai's local railway network has always been vulnerable to terror attacks since there was never any serious security at most stations and on trains.

In view of growing number of terror attacks on transportation systems worldwide, authorities should take steps to secure the suburban railway network."

"The design of whoever perpetrated the attacks was clear: to disrupt commercial activity in Bombay. Hit Bombay and you have hit India," another NRI said.

The office of the Khaleej Times newspaper in Dubai received many calls from panicky Indians wanting to know about the situation in Mumbai following their failure to connect to their relatives in the city.

A report in the newspaper quoted a Dubai resident from Mumbai as saying: "I tried to call home straight away but I could not get them on line. I was panicking for an hour until I managed to talk to my brother."

A resident of Sharjah who was a witness to the 1993 serial blasts in Mumbai said: "I had seen people covered with blood and bodies lying on the street after the blasts in Mumbai in 1993... I could not handle myself again to be in such a situation."

Meanwhile, many Indians in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) have cancelled their holiday plans following the blasts.

"A large number of passengers cancelled tickets. We cancelled at least 20 tickets immediately after the news first broke," another report in the Khaleej Times quoted a travel agent as saying.

He said that people who had planned trips to south India via Mumbai have also cancelled their journey. Some even cancelled to New Delhi.

There are around three millions Indians in the Gulf region.