Maharashtra ATS unearths ‘plot to poison food, water at Kumbh’: A look at some of the deadliest terror attacks on India

Terrorists have targeted defenceless Indians going about their lives — exposing their deadliness, and cowardice.

 |  3-minute read |   24-01-2019
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On January 24, reports surfaced that the Maharashtra Anti Terrorism Squad (ATS) had arrested nine people over the past few days apparently for having links with the Islamic State (IS). According to officers, the nine were planning to poison food and water sources at big public gatherings — possibly the ongoing Kumbh Mela at Prayagraj and at Republic Day celebrations.

The ATS says the arrested men are engineers and pharmacists, and had apparently prepared chemical mixtures that they were planning to contaminate food and water with.

If true, the terror plot is both deadly and dastardly: the men were allegedly planning to hit innocent people going about their lives, celebrating a happy occasion.

Even though this potential attack was foiled in time, here’s a look at some of the worst instances of India and Indians being struck by terrorism.

The 26/11 Mumbai Terror Attacks     

The 2008 attacks on the country’s financial capital shook India. As many as 164 people were killed in the terror strikes and another 600 injured.  

The burning dome of the Taj hotelThe nightmare that raged: The burning dome of the Taj hotel during the 26/11 attacks. (Photo: Reuters)

The attackers targeted several locations, including the Taj Mahal Palace, the Oberoi Trident Hotel, Nariman House, Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus, Chabad House, the Cama Hospital and the Leopold Café. The attacks ended a full four days later, with NSC commandos flushing out the last of the terrorists from the Taj hotel in Operation Black Tornado.

Of the 10 Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) operatives, only one — Ajmal Kasab — was captured alive. He was later hanged.

Parliament Attack  

In 2001, terrorists from the LeT and the Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) attacked the seat of India’s democracy — the Parliament complex. Five gunmen, carrying AK47 rifles, grenade launchers, pistols and grenades, managed to enter Parliament's, premises using a fake identity sticker on their car.

Sonia Gandhi and Rajnath Singh pay respects to the martyrs of the attacks on the 18th anniversary Sonia Gandhi and Rajnath Singh pay respects to the martyrs of the Parliament attack on its 17th anniversary in December 2018. (Photo: India Today)

Once inside, they opened fire, killing nine people — five Delhi Police officers, a woman Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel, two Parliament staffers and a gardener.

All five terrorists were killed. A journalist who was injured in the attack died later.

Delhi Market Bombings

Delhi had a bloody Diwali in 2005 when on the eve of the Diwali festival, 67 people were killed in a series of three bombings that took place across the city. On October 29, 2005, at 5.35pm, the first blast took place in Paharganj, killing 17 people.

Sarojini Nagar market, in which 50 people The Sarojini Nagar market blast killed 50 people on the spot. (Photo: PTI)

The deadliest blast was around half an hour later, at the bustling Sarojini Nagar market, in which 50 people lost their lives. The third blast at Okhla injured 13 people.

Mumbai local trains blasts

On July 11, 2006, Mumbai’s lifeline — its local train network — was rocked by a series of blasts.

Seven RDX bombs went off on the busiest Western line, killing 189 people and injuring more than 800. Between 6 pm and 6:30 pm, the peak hour for commuters, bombs went off at Matunga Road, Mahim, Bandra, Khar Road, Jogeshwari, Bhayandar and Borivali stations.

The impact of the blasts was so powerful that overhead sheds at some of the stations were blown to pieces, and mangled bodies were strewn across tracks.

The blasts killed The blasts killed 189 people during the local trains' busiest rish hour. (Photo: PTI)

Nine years later, five of the blast convicts were sentenced to death and seven others given life imprisonment.

2010 Dantewada Bus Attack

On 17 May, 2010, Naxals in Chhattisgarh's Dantewada district had laid a landmine on a throughfare, which exploded as a civilian bus passed over it. The bus was blown to smithereens and fatalities between 31 to 44 people killed were reported. This included several Special Police Officers working in the troubled district. But it also included several civilians and passersby who were injured or killed in the bus blast.

The time when Naxals attacked civilians tooThe time when Naxals attacked civilians too. (Photo: PTI)


This was the first instance when a Naxal group in the area deliberately targetted civilians in the zone. 

Also read: How Syed Shuja’s wild claims may have undermined the EVM-VVPAT debate forever



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