Mumbai Bombings - [July 13, 2011] This Day in History

13 July 2011

Mumbai bombings

What happened?

Mumbai was struck by a series of bomb explosions in different locations leading to the death of 26 people and injuring another 130. Read more on the terrorist attack for UPSC exam internal security segment.

Mumbai bombings – Background

  • Mumbai, the maximum city, once again became the target of terror activities on 13th July 2011 when a series of three bomb blasts occurred.
  • The first blast occurred at 6:54 PM at Zaveri Bazaar. The device was planted on a motorcycle. The second blast erupted in the Opera House on Charni Road at 6:55 PM; this time the device was placed in a tiffin box. The last explosion occurred at Dadar at 7:06 PM.
  • All the areas were crowded and the rush-hour timing was obviously intended to cause maximum damage.
  • A total of 26 people were killed in the brutal attacks and 130 people were injured.
  • Investigations revealed that the devices used were IEDs or Improvised Explosive Devices. The terrorists had used ammonium nitrate-based explosives combined with fuel oil.
  • Two of the three blasts were high-intensity ones. The police ruled out suicide bombers and said that remote detonators would have been used to set off the explosives.
  • On 9th August, one man was arrested by the Maharashtra ATS (Anti-Terrorism Squad) in connection with the blasts.
  • In May 2012, the ATS filed a chargesheet naming 10 people responsible for the blasts. Four of them were already under arrest. 6 others were on the run and this included the mastermind of the terrorist organisation Indian Mujahideen, Yasin Bhatkal.
  • Bhatkal was arrested in 2013 and is the accused in several blast cases in the country. He was sentenced to death in 2016 in connection with the 2013 Hyderabad blasts.
  • In the immediate aftermath of the attacks, the government appealed to the people to remain calm. The central government announced a compensation of Rs.1 lakh to the injured and Rs.2 lakh to the families of the dead. The Maharashtra state government announced a compensation of Rs.5 lakh to the bereaved families and some amount to the injured as well.
  • The then Chief Minister of Maharashtra Prithviraj Chavan remarked that the “attacks were an attack on the heart of India.”
  • The United Nations, the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO), the European Union (EU) and others condemned the attacks.

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