0.17% of visits to this site come from India. Believe it or not, that puts India in 10th place. Over the past month, these visits have come from 24 cities in India, and a city called Cochin leads the pack. I happen to know those visits are by Roshan, a big fan of Canadian music and hockey who has been a regular visitor for the past four years or so. Roshan blogs at Awake & Dreaming.
There is news out of India this weekend that a series of synchronized explosions have killed at least 45 people. An obscure Islamic group has claimed responsibility, warning of "the terror of Death" in an e-mail sent to several television stations minutes before the blasts. These attacks seem to be in response to 2002 riots in the western state which left 1,000 people, mostly Muslims, dead.
With cities around the country put on alert I asked the one Indian reader I knew of to write something I could post on my blog. Here's what Roshan just emailed me.
The last couple of days have been tense for Indians, especially those of us in the Southern part of India & the western state of Gujarat. First on Friday afternoon, I was at the office working, when I heard that there was an explosion in the city of Bangalore, Karnataka. Some turned on the tv that sits in our reception area, others tuned to their radios and some like me clicked online to find out if there was something about it. I was the first to find a webpage that reported on the incident, some guy named Sachin Uppal had seen the blast from a distance. He switched on his computer, logged into his blogger account and blogged about it immediately, snatching bits of news from his friends & neighbours. Turns out it was more than one - 6 blasts occured in various parts of the city. The areas of Nayandahalli, Madivala, Adugodi, Mysore road, Mallya Hospital & Langford Road were the ones that were hit. A 6th & 7th explosion would follow.
My company has 3 big offices in Bangalore and I have a few friends who work in that city. We immedietaley tried to get in touch with them to see if theu were alright. the phone lines were all blocked and the smses weren't getting delivered. I was able to contact my friend Vinitha online - she was at home and on gtalk, having taken a leave from work. Another friend was in Cochin, having taken leave to come and visit her family.
Saturday, while Banglore began their slow process of recoveing from the shock, the Gujarat serial Bomb blasts have rocked industrious Ahmedabad city of Gujarat in India. Till now 6 bomb blasts have been reported. The effected areas are Maninagar Chowk , Raipur , Bapunagar , Isanpur , Narol , Naroda , Juhapura. The 6 blasts later became 16, with 10 dead an over a 100 injured. An islamic terrorist organization calling themselves the 'Indian Mujahidden' have claimed sole responsibiliy for the bomb blasts. All major cities were now told be be on alert as they could be next. And today in Surat (Gujarat) two cars with batteries & wires in the back seat were found abandoned.
This afternoon, an internet call was made to the number of a TV9 reporter, claiming to be from Pakistan and identifying him to be part of the Indian Mujahideen, said that Kerala was the next target and that it would happen at 7 in the evening. This information was soon replayed to all channels with the major cities of Cochin & Trivandrum on high alert. All cinema theatres have cancelled their evening shows and most stores & shopping malls have shut down. Police have surrounded most of the public areas and are combing through any areas that look like they could be harbouring detonating devices. Police dogs & bomb squads are everywhere. The police commissioner has asked for calm and for all citizens to be on the look out for anything suspecious.
As I type this, its a few minutes past 8 pm and so far nothing has happened in Cochin. That doesn't mean to say that it won't. This just brings me to believe that Muslim fundamentalists are out to destroy the rest of the world and that religion and god will be the end of us. Hope to see a new day. Peace.
Hindus and Muslims have been going at each other in India since independence from Britain in 1947. Here's hoping this doesn't spark more deadly religious riots and that peace does in fact prevail. Roshan, please keep us up to date and stay safe.