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Mainstream, VOL XLIX, No 38, September 10, 2011

Delhi Bleeds as Terror Strikes Again


Tuesday 13 September 2011, by SC


Terror has struck the heart of the Capital—just outside the Delhi High Court. Delhi has bled once again while the custodians of law and order continue to repeat, like an old gramophone record, what they had said time and again after every bomb blast causing countless casualties. The leaders of the government too have used the same language that they employ in such incidents—and that boils down to “we shall not bow to such cowardly acts and definitely bring the perpetrators to book”. But what is really happening on the ground? Just as with corruption, the people’s patience is running out when it comes to terror attacks that take place at regular intervals. That is precisely why Rahul Gandhi was booed when he went to one of the city’s hospitals to meet the injured and express his sympathies. The people are no longer interested in these routine display of sympathy—they want concrete steps that would lead to a perceptible reduction of such terror strikes.

In this specific case what was most shocking was that a low-intensity bomb had exploded outside the same High Court only four months ago but did not result in any damage or casualties; and yet that wake-up call went unheeded even though it happened at the centre of the national Capital.

After the May 25 low-intensity bomb blast, several security measures, including installation of CCTV cameras, was suggested by the Union Home Ministry and security agencies; however, as a senior government official disclosed, the PWD was “supposed to put up the CCTVs, but action on it could not be completed”. It is this chalta hai culture which has brought the country to such a pass. Not only have our security agencies failed to prevent terror strikes, not a single major blast case in the last two years has been solved.

In the Delhi High Court blast at quarter-past ten in the morning of September 7, just five days before the observance of the tenth anniversary of the daring terror strikes in the USA on 9/11 (that is, on September 11, 2001), 11 persons were killed (the figure has risen to 12 with one more death today) and 76 injured.

The Islamic terror outsit HuJI is believed to have claimed responsibility for the September 7 attack, though this has yet to be fully verified. Against this backdrop the Chief Justice of India’s directive to the Delhi High Court’s Chief Justice to pass orders on the judicial side, if necessary, to get the security infrastructure in and around the Court premises upgraded in the next few days acquires prominence; for our political and bureaucratic classes act only under instructions from the judiciary.

September 7 must bring about a qualitative change in our approach to professionally meet the terrorist challenge. In this context it is good that the National Investigation Agency (NIA) is taking charge of the Delhi High Court blast. Hopefully this would hearld the evolution of a new strategy to tackle the problem of terror strikes that has taken a fearful dimension of late.

September 8 S.C.

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