Serial blasts rock UP courts, 15 killed
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Serial blasts rock UP courts, 15 killed

Police say an email warning TV channels of the blasts in three cities was sent from a Delhi cyber cafe, reports Tushar Srivastava.

india Updated: Nov 24, 2007 10:38 IST
Tushar Srivastava
Tushar Srivastava
Hindustan Times

An email warning television news channels of the serial bomb blasts in three cities of Uttar Pradesh on Friday was sent from a cyber cafe in east Delhi’s Laxmi Nagar area, police and intelligence sources told the Hindustan Times. The mail with the header ‘Indian Mujahideen’, was sent from the ID It said “within minutes” lawyers would be attacked.

Blasts from the past

August 2007: Bombs rip through crowded areas in Hyderabad, killing 42 people

May: Bomb at Mecca Masjid in Hyderabad kills 11

February: Bombs go off on Pak-bound train passing through north India; 68 dead

September 2006: 30 killed and 100 injured in twin blasts at mosque in Malegaon

July: Seven bombs on Mumbai trains kill 200, injure 700

March: Twin explosions at train station and Sankat Mochan temple in Varanasi kill 20

October 2005: Three bombs in New Delhi markets on Diwali eve leave 62 dead and hundreds wounded

August 2003: Two explosives-laden taxis blow up outside Mumbai tourist attraction and market killing 52, injuring 100

March 1993: Underworld figures tied to Pakistani rebels carry out serial bombings on the Bombay stock exchange, trains, hotels, gas stations; 257 dead, 1,000-plus hurt

Intelligence agencies have tracked down the cyber café and were questioning the owner till late in the night.

The near-simultaneous blasts in court premises in Varanasi, Faizabad and Lucknow, that killed 15 people and injured over 70 others, targeted lawyers, sources said.

On November 17, lawyers of the session court in Lucknow beat up three Jaish-e-Mohammad militants who had planned to kidnap Rahul Gandhi. Lawyers of the state had also refused to represent Wali Ullah, mastermind of the March 2006 blasts at the Sankat Mochan temple in Banaras as also Jalaluddin Molla, a key Harkat-ul-Jehad Islami (HuJI) militant arrested in the state in June.

Police and state intelligence sources said the banned HuJI might have been behind the blasts. They said Jaish could have sought the help of HuJI as both have close ties with each other.

In Varanasi, three blasts killed 11 and injured 45 people. Four persons were killed and 14 injured in the Faizabad explosions.

In Lucknow, there was only one blast, but thankfully, it failed to kill or even injure any one. The terrorists struck between 1.10 and 1.30, peak hour in the courts.

In the past six months, the Uttar Pradesh police have seized 21 kg of explosives, including 11 kg of RDX (an essential base for military blasting devices).

UP’s history of violence

Gorakhpur: 7 hurt in serial blasts on May 22

Varanasi: 26 dead, 100 injured in serial blasts on March 7, 2006

Jaunpur: 5 dead in blast on Shramjeevi Express in July 28, 2005

Faizabad: 9 killed in attack on Sabarmati Exp on Aug 14, 2000

Kanpur: Nine dead in explosions on August 14, 2000

Modi Nagar: 10 dead as bomb goes off in a bus in 1994

Why it is a target

Proximity of some districts to Delhi

Section in western UP and some districts bordering Nepal subscribe to militants’ brand of ideology

Hot spots: Meerut, Aligarh, Saharanpur, Chandauli, etc

The biggest haul of 7 kg came on June 21 following the arrest of two alleged HuJI operatives, Mohammed Yakub and Nasir, in Bijnore district.

Union Home Minister Shivraj Patil, however, said in the Lok Sabha that no terrorist group had claimed responsibility for the attacks.

(With inputs from M Hasan in Lucknow)

First Published: Nov 23, 2007 13:58 IST