Tuesday, September 28, 2021
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RIP! Brave Parag Sawant

The 11 July 2006, train bombings were a series of seven bomb blasts that took place over a period of 11 minutes on the Suburban Railway in Mumbai. The bombs were set off in pressure cookers on trains plying the Western line of the Suburban Railway network. A total of 209 commuters were killed and another 700-plus injured in the most deadly attack on Mumbai’s lifeline at Bhayander, Borivali, Jogeshwari, Khar Road, Bandra, Mahim and Matunga Road, while one unexploded bomb was found by police and defused at Borivali. Two years ago — in May 2013 — Amit Singh, who was injured in the serial blasts, had succumbed to his injuries at Jaslok Hospital.

Parag Sawant, who was injured in the 7/11 serial train blasts, died at PD Hinduja Hospital in Mahim on Tuesday morning after battling his injuries for nine years. Doctors at the hospital said that he was in a vegetative state for all these years. In 2013, Sawant had shown signs of improvement but his condition deteriorated later.  Sawant underwent multiple operations for brain treatment and had been on supportive care. He underwent physiotherapy for a few years. Sawant, a resident of Bhayandar, is survived by his parents, wife and seven-year-old daughter. He was working as an assistant sales manager in a firm. His wife Priti has been given a job with the Indian Railways.

Pressure cooker bombs were placed on trains on the western line of the suburban local trains, which forms the backbone of the city’s transport network. Pressure cookers were used in these bombing and other recent explosions to increase the after burn in a thermo baric reaction, more powerful than conventional high explosives. The first blast reportedly took place at 18:24 IST (12:54 UTC), and the explosions continued for approximately eleven minutes, until 18:35, during the after-work rush hour. All the bombs had been placed in the first-class compartments of several trains running from Churchgate, the city-centre end of the western railway line, to the western suburbs of the city. They exploded at or in the near vicinity of the suburban railway stations of Matunga Road, Mahim, Bandra, Khar Road, Jogeshwari, Bhayandar and Borivali. The bomb attacks in Mumbai came hours after a series of grenade attacks in Srinagar, the largest city in the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir. Then Home Secretary V K Duggal said there was no link between the Srinagar and Mumbai bomb blasts.

Some 350 people were detained 36 hours after the incident in Maharashtra — police claim that these are people rounded up for investigations. On 14 July, Lashkar-e-Qahhar, a terrorist organisation possibly linked to Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), claimed responsibility for the bombings. In an e-mail to an Indian TV channel, the outfit says it organised the bombings using 16 people who are all “safe”. According to the e-mail, the main motive seems to have been retaliation to the situation in the Gujarat and Kashmir regions, possibly referring to the alleged oppression of Muslim minorities in certain parts of the region. It also says that the blasts were part of a series of attacks aimed at other sites such as the Mumbai international airport, Gateway of India, the Taj Mahal in Agra and the Red Fort in New Delhi. The authorities are investigating this claim and are trying to track the location of the e-mail sender. However, on 17 July, the forensic science laboratory Mumbai has confirmed the use of a mixture of the highly explosive RDX and Ammonium Nitrate for the bombings. The presence of these explosives in the post explosive debris was confirmed by modern techniques such as Liquid Chromatography with mass detector (LCMS), Gas Chromatography with mass detector (GCMS) and Ion Scan Chromatography. They have indicated a strong possibility of all explosives being planted at the Churchgate railway station, which was the starting point for all affected trains.

Initially, religious extremists from the Lashkar-e-Toiba and the banned Students Islamic Movement of India terrorist groups, and Pakistan’s intelligence agency ISI were the prime suspects. Both Lashkar and SIMI denied responsibility for the bombings. There was also evidence about the involvement of the international Islamic terrorist group Al-Qaeda following a phone call from a man claiming to be a spokesperson for the group on 13 July. The alleged al-Qaeda spokesman had said the blasts were a “consequence of Indian oppression and suppression of minorities, particularly Muslims. Later on, M K Narayanan, the Indian National Security Advisor, has said that India doesn’t have “clinching” evidence of the involvement of ISI in the Mumbai train blasts.

Jemaat e Islamiyah is known to use pressure cooker bombs with RDX and like explosives. Note that Jemaat e Islamiyah had operatives in the Pakistan areas active in religious indoctrination and that were working with Egyptian Islamic Jihad through al-Zawahiri who taught about the use of pressure cooker bombs. As such, it is quite possible that Jemaat e Islamiyah was involved in the attack possibly through Indian Mujahideen which also forms part of. Note that Jemaah Islamiyah was behind the 9-11 anthrax attacks as well. There are many such theories and investigative speculations where people have died their but no one was booked or caught for the blast. This is what has happened in almost all terror attacks.

Dr Vaidehi Tamanhttp://www.vaidehisachin.com
Dr Vaidehi an Accredited Journalist from Maharashtra is bestowed with Honourary Doctorate in Journalism, Investigative Journalist, Editor, Ethical Hacker, Philanthropist, and Author. She is Editor-in-Chief of Newsmakers Broadcasting and Communications Pvt. Ltd. for 11 years, which features an English daily tabloid – Afternoon Voice, a Marathi web portal – Mumbai Manoos, monthly magazines like Hackers5, Beyond The News (international) and Maritime Bridges. She is also an EC Council Certified Ethical Hacker, Certified Security Analyst and is also a Licensed Penetration Tester which caters to her freelance jobs.

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