2010 Pune bombing

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2010 Pune bombing
Pune is located in India
Pune
Pune
Pune (India)
Location German Bakery, Pune, India
Coordinates 18°32′22.67″N 73°53′13.82″E / 18.5396306°N 73.8871722°E / 18.5396306; 73.8871722Coordinates: 18°32′22.67″N 73°53′13.82″E / 18.5396306°N 73.8871722°E / 18.5396306; 73.8871722
Date 13 February 2010
19:15 IST (13:30 UTC)[1] (UTC+5:30)
Attack type
Bombing
Weapons Improvised explosive device (IED)
Deaths 17[2][3][4]
Non-fatal injuries
54+[5]
Perpetrators Lashkar-e-Taiba al-Almi;[6] SIMI International; Mujahideen Islami Muslim Front[7]
Suspected perpetrators
Indian Mujahideen,[8] Lashkar-e-Taiba[9]

The 2010 Pune bombing occurred on 13 February 2010 at approximately 7:15 pm IST when a bomb exploded at the German Bakery in the city of Pune, Maharashtra, India. The blast killed 17 people, and injured at least 60 more,[10] including an Italian woman, two Sudanese students, and an Iranian student.[11]

The German Bakery is located near the Jewish Chabad House and the Osho ashram (an international meditation resort) in Koregaon Park, Pune. The ashram and the bakery are frequented by foreigners and the bakery, which is popular with tourists and locals alike, was busy at the time of the blast.

Two little known groups, the Laskhar-e-Taiba Al Alami and the Mujahideen Islami Muslim Front, claimed they were behind the bomb attack. But, according to government agencies, the attack could have been part of a project by Lashkar-e-Taiba to use the Indian Mujahideen, called the Karachi project. David Coleman Headley, a Pakistani-American terror suspect, has been accused of involvement in the project.

Location and time[edit]

The German Bakery in November 2007

The site of the bombing was the German Bakery, a two-decade-old popular establishment in Pune.[12] The bakery, situated on the ground floor of a corner building in the Koregaon Park area of Pune, was reduced to rubble, though the rest of the building was left intact. At the time of the explosion, the bakery's limited seating areas were full of students and foreign visitors from the nearby Osho Ashram. A security alert had been issued in October 2009 for a Jewish Chabad house in the vicinity of the German Bakery, but the Bakery was not deemed to be at risk at the time.[13][14]

Initial media reports indicated that a Liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) cylinder used for cooking had caused the blast,[15] but the Pune City Fire Brigade issued a statement that the cylinders at German bakery were intact.[16] Security agencies confirmed shortly thereafter that the explosion was a terrorist strike.

Victims[edit]

Nine people were killed instantly. The rest of the victims succumbed to their injuries a few days later, while undergoing treatment. The Chief Minister of Maharashtra, Ashok Chavan, announced,

"Regarding the compensation payment to the dead, the families will be paid Rs. 500,000 (US$ 11,000) per person who has died in the unfortunate incident. And whatever the medical expenditure is for the people who have been admitted in the hospitals will be entirely borne by the government".[17]

About sixty people were injured in the bombing. Forty-six were men and the rest were women. Twelve of the injured were foreigners: five were Iranian, two were Sudanese and two were Nepalese, and one each from Italy, Taiwan, and Yemen.[18][19]

List of victims:[19][20]

Name Age Nationality
Saied Abdulkhani 26 Iran
Rajeev Agarwal 23 India
Suleiman Alfatah 21 Sudan
Atul Ganpat Anap 26 India
Anindyee Dhar 19 India
Ankik Dhar 24 India
Binita Gadani 22 India
Shilpa Goenka 23 India
Aditi Jindal 23 India
Nadia Macerini 37 Italy
Aditya Jaiprakash Mehta 24 India
Gokul Nepali 30 Nepal[21]
Shankar Pansare 27 India
Abhishek Saxena 24 India
P. Sindhuri 22 India
Anaj Sulaiman 21 Sudan
Vikas Tulsiani 24 India

Equipment[edit]

Commissioner of Police, Satyapal Singh, after receiving the preliminary report from the Forensic Science Laboratory (FSL), stated that RDX explosive had been used. Ball bearings and nutbolts were part of the bomb. He added, "According to the FSL report received last night, the material used for the explosive was a combination of RDX, ammonium nitrate and petroleum hydrocarbon oil (ANFO). However, the quantity used has not been determined yet. Also the trigger mechanism is being investigated yet." It is not known whether a remote detonator or a timer was used to carry out the blast.[22]

Initial hypotheses about the perpetrators and motives[edit]

The bomb exploded 200 metres from the Osho ashram's main gate.

On 14 February, the Indian Home Minister P. Chidambaram stated that responsibility for the blast had not yet been determined, but that Indian authorities were making attempts to interview David Headley,[23] a Pakistani-American businessman, accused of involvement with terrorism who was then undergoing trial in the United States.[24][25] In connection with the bomb blast, the Indian Home Secretary, G. K. Pillai also referred to Headley.[26] News organisations have reported that Headley had visited Pune in July 2008 and March 2009 to scout the area near the blast and described him as a suspected member of Lashkar-e-Taiba,[14][27] one of the largest and most active South Asian Islamist terrorist organisations. G. K. Pillai also said that the attack could be part of a project by Lashkar-e-Taiba to use the Indian Mujahideen in what Headley apparently called the 'Karachi project' during his interrogation by the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).[9]

The attack occurred just a few days after an agreement was reached between India and Pakistan to resume dialogue at a meeting on 25 February in New Delhi.[28] The incident added to the government’s vulnerability, with the opposition asking for suspension of the bilateral talks.[1]

A little known group calling itself the Laskhar-e-Taiba Al Alami claimed it was behind the bomb attack in Pune in a phone call to the Islamabad office of the Indian daily The Hindu.[29] The caller appeared to be educated, and said the group had split from the Lashkar-e-Taiba due to its affinity to Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence. The call appeared to originate from the Miramshah or Bannu district in North Waziristan.[30]

Ilyas Kashmiri was believed to have masterminded the attack. He was killed in a drone strike in Pakistan on June 3, 2011.[31]

Investigation[edit]

The Maharashtra police had announced a probe was under way to establish the cause of the explosion, while a Central Bureau of Investigation team was sent from New Delhi to Pune to assist in the investigations. Consequently the entire country was put on high alert, especially Mumbai and Hyderabad.[28] After a detailed review of the internal security situation in the wake of the attack, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh directed the Union and Maharashtra governments to take coordinated and effective action to speedily investigate the terror attack.[32]

Investigation in the blast is being done by Maharashtra government's Anti Terrorist Squad along with the National Investigation Agency in Delhi. Maharashtra ATS Chief K P Raghuvanshi is heading the blast probe. The agency has got crucial closed-circuit television camera (CCTV) footage of the alleged bombers.[33]

Investigators first focused their attention on the prospect that the attacks were carried out by a Pune jihad cell known to have existed since at least 2006. This came out from the questioning of Mohammad Peerbhoy, an Indian Mujahideen operative held in the course of a national counter-terrorism operation that targeted the Lashkar-linked group in 2008.[34]

Just moments before the explosion, Paras Rimal, a waiter at the German Bakery had noticed the bag (containing explosives). When Paras moved in to investigate the bag, he was called outside the bakery by an unknown motorist who paid him INR200 (US$3.20) to fetch a glass of water. Since Paras was away from the blast he sustained mild injuries and has become an important eyewitness for the police.[35]

Investigators are also including other Indian metropolitan cities like Bangalore and Mumbai in the probe. Popular destinations where foreigners are often seen are being searched. Similarly people who checked in or out of hotels in the surrounding areas are also being tracked down. Over 40 people have been arrested during the investigation. Among them are four Kashmiris arrested in Hampi, Karnataka.[36] Pune police arrested two suspects from Pune's suburbs on 16 February 2010.[37] Another two were detained in Aurangabad.[38]

The Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) identified Yasin Bhatkal, believed to be a relative of Indian Mujahideen founder Riyaz Bhatkal, as one of the main conspirators of the blast in a preliminary report submitted to the State Government on 7 April 2010. The investigating agency, in its report, has identified four more suspects involved in the blast, including the planters of the bomb – laden bag which went off in the German Bakery. Maharashtra home minister R.R. Patil told the Legislative Council that the suspects would be arrested in a few days and more details would be disclosed at a later stage.[39]

On 24 May 2010, Maharashtra ATS arrested Abdul Samad Bhatkal, younger brother of Yaseen Bhatkal, as he got off Air India flight 812 at Mangalore International Airport for his alleged involvement in a little-known murder case.[40] However, Home Minister P. Chidambaram later identified him as the prime suspect in the German Bakery blast.[41] Bhatkal had left for Dubai shortly after the blast and was returning after his visa expired. He was arrested using a Lookout Notice that was issued by the Mumbai police. Samad was trying to slip into the country through the Bajpe Airport by taking advantage of the situation that prevailed following the 22 May 2010 crash at Mangalore of flight Air India Express Flight 812.[42] Bhatkal was apprehended based on investigation of CCTV footage from the German Bakery.[40]

In September 2010, the ATS arrested Mirza Himayat Baig (29) for his involvement in the attack, as well as his aide Shaikh Lalbaba Mohammed Hussain alias Bilal (27), both believed to be members of Islamist militant terrorist organisation LeT. Baig was said to have taken bomb-making training in Colombo in 2008.[43]

On 30 November 2011, the Delhi Police arrested six suspected Indian Mujahideen operatives whom they claimed to be the perpetrators of the 2010 Pune bombing, the Chinnaswamy stadium blast and the 2010 Jama Masjid attack. One Pakistani national was also reported to have been arrested.[44][45] Two of the seven people were arrested in Chennai and were identified by the Delhi Police as Mohammad Irshad Khan (age 50) and Abdul Rahman (age 19), hailing from Madhubani district of Bihar.[46] Another individual – Ghayur Jamil – a student at a madarsa in Darbhanga was also arrested from Madhubani on the charge of recruiting youths from near the Indo-Nepal border for terrorist activities, Abdul Rahman being one of such recruits.[47] This charge was disputed by Jamil's father who billed him as a good orator and an honest, religious man who had lost a bag containing his belongings – including his PAN card, residential proof and photos – a few days back.[48]

A Pune court on 18 April 2013 awarded death sentence to Indian Mujahideen operative Himayat Baig, who was earlier in the week convicted for his involvement in the blasts. Baig's lawyer A Rahman had said that though they respected the verdict, they would appeal against it in the Bombay High Court.[49]

Reaction[edit]

Domestic reactions[edit]

  • India India
  • Prime Minister Manmohan Singh who discussed the situation with Home Minister P. Chidambaram, directed speedy investigation so that “the culprits responsible for this heinous act are identified and brought to justice at the earliest,’’[50]
  • Bharatiya Janata Party President Nitin Gadkari described the Pune blast as an “unfortunate incident.” In a statement, opposition leader Arun Jaitley said: “The BJP urges the government to reconsider both these steps: allowing persons from Pakistani-administered Kashmir to return and resuming the dialogue with Pakistan. Terror and talks cannot coexist.”[51]
  • The Communist Party of India (Marxist) condemned the Pune blast and asked the Union government to provide all help to Maharashtra to bring the guilty to book.[52]
  • Kerala chief minister V S Achuthanandan said "Terrorist strikes being reported from different parts of the country are matters of grave concern," adding that the threat should be viewed seriously and stern measures must be taken to tackle the menace.[53]
  • Sharad Pawar Union Agricultural minister, said "It is not alright to arrive at a conclusion that the entire Pune city has been targeted. The place where the blast took place is an isolated area" adding "when I was Chief Minister, Mumbai saw 11 simultaneous blasts but everything returned to normal soon."[54]

International reactions[edit]

  • Pakistan Pakistan – Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani condemned the blast and indicated that the Pakistani government still wants the peace talks to go ahead.[55]
  • United Kingdom United Kingdom – In a statement, the British High Commission condemned the Pune attack and expressed the U.K.’s solidarity with India. “We condemn the cowardly attack on innocent people in Pune. The U.K. expresses its wholehearted solidarity with India. Our sympathies and condolences are with the families of all those affected in this incident,” it said.[56]
  • United States United States – Ambassador Timothy J. Roemer condemned the Pune bombing. "On behalf of the people of the United States, I extend heartfelt sympathy to the Government of India and the victims of this tragic terrorist blast in Pune. The US remains shoulder-to-shoulder with India in the fight against terror and will assist as needed to help bring the perpetrators of this cowardly act to justice."[56] President Barack Obama condemned the blast that took place in Pune and expressed his condolences on the loss of life in a phone call to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.[57]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b ET Bureau (14 February 2010). "Pune blast clouds trust ahead of peace talks". The Economic Times. 
  2. ^ Siddhesh Inamdar (27 February 2010). "Pune blast toll goes up to 17". The Hindu (Pune). 
  3. ^ IANS (24 February 2010). "Pune blast toll goes up to 16". The Hindu. Retrieved 24 February 2010. 
  4. ^ "Toll rises to 15 with two more deaths". NetIndian. 21 February 2010. Retrieved 21 February 2010. 
  5. ^ Asseem Shaikh, Swati Shinde and Mihir Tanksale (14 February 2010). "Blast rips Pune's German Bakery 9 dead 45 wounded". The Times of India. Retrieved 14 February 2010. 
  6. ^ Nirupama Subramanian and Praveen Swami (17 February 2010). "New Jihadist group claims responsibility for Pune attack". The Hindu (Chennai, India). 
  7. ^ Pratik Salunke (24 February 2010). "2 outfits lay claim to Pune blast". The Asian Age (Pune). 
  8. ^ "Indian Mujahideen prime suspect in Pune blast". IBN Live. 15 February 2010. 
  9. ^ a b TNN (16 February 2010). "Pune blast connected to Headley: Govt". The Times of India (New Delhi). 
  10. ^ "Terror strike in Pune, 9 dead in bomb blast". IBN Live. 
  11. ^ Harmeet Singh, Tom Watkins (14 February 2010). "Iranian, Italian among Indian bakery blast dead". CNN. Retrieved 14 February 2010. 
  12. ^ Prachi Pinglay (13 February 2010). "India restaurant bomb blast kills eight in Pune". BBC News. 
  13. ^ "8 killed, foreigners among 40 injured in Pune bakery blast". The Economic Times. 13 February 2010. Retrieved 13 February 2010. 
  14. ^ a b "Eight killed, 33 injured in Pune terror attack". Hindustan Times. Retrieved 13 February 2010. 
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  16. ^ Shinde, Swati (14 February 2010). "LPG cylinders at bakery intact, says fire officer". The Times of India. Retrieved 15 February 2010. 
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  18. ^ Italian woman, Iranian student among nine dead, says police chief, Sakaal Times, 15 February 2010.
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  20. ^ "Death toll rises to 15 in Pune German Bakery blast". Daily News and Analysis. 21 February 2010. Retrieved 21 February 2010. 
  21. ^ "Four Nepalis injured in Pune terror attack; one dead suspected to be Nepali". NepalNews.com. 14 February 2010. Retrieved 9 April 2010. 
  22. ^ "RDX usage confirmed in Pune blast". DNA. 16 February 2010. Retrieved 16 February 2010. 
  23. ^ Vikas Bajaj and Jim Yardley (14 February 2010). "India Pursues Terror Link After Bomb Blast". The New York Times. Archived from the original on 16 February 2010. Retrieved 16 February 2010. 
  24. ^ "Headley travelled to India nine times on business visa". The Indian Express. 9 November 2009. 
  25. ^ PR Newswire-US Newswire (27 October 2009). "Two Chicago Men Charged in Connection With Alleged Roles in Foreign Terror Plot". Reuters. 
  26. ^ "Eight die in India's first big attack since Mumbai". Thomson Reuters. 13 February 2010. pp. Bhowmik. Archived from the original on 13 February 2010. Retrieved 13 February 2010.  |first1= missing |last1= in Authors list (help)
  27. ^ "Pune blast may be execution of Headley's plan". The Times of India. 15 February 2010. Retrieved 14 February 2010. 
  28. ^ a b "Many dead in India bomb attack". Al Jazeera. 14 February 2010. 
  29. ^ Nirupama Subramanian (16 February 2010). "Unknown Pakistani group claims responsibility for Pune blast". The Hindu (Islamabad, Pakistan). 
  30. ^ Nirupama Subramanian and Praveen Swami (16 February 2010). "New jihadist group claims responsibility for Pune attack". The Hindu (Islamabad, Pakistan). 
  31. ^ http://www.thefreelibrary.com/PUNE+BLAST+WAS+QAEDA'S+FIRST+INDIAOP.-a0236052008
  32. ^ Special Correspondent (14 February 2010). "PM reviews situation following Pune blast". The Hindu. 
  33. ^ "CCTV footage reveals vital clues in Pune blast". The Indian Express. 15 February 2010. Retrieved 15 February 2010. 
  34. ^ Praveen Swami (15 February 2010). "Pune bombing could herald renewed Lashkar offensive". The Hindu. 
  35. ^ Mihir Tanksale, Umesh Isalkar (19 February 2010). "German Bakery waiter shifted to unknown place". The Times of India. Retrieved 19 February 2010. 
  36. ^ "4 Kashmiris among 40 detained in Pune probe". The Times of India. 18 February 2010. Retrieved 19 February 2010. 
  37. ^ "Pune blast: 2 detained, usage of police say RDX confirmed". The Indian Express. 15 February 2010. Retrieved 16 February 2010. 
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  39. ^ PTI (7 April 2010). "Pune blast key conspirator identified, says ATS". The Hindu. 
  40. ^ a b Asseem Shaikh, Mihir Tanksale and Mateen Hafeez (25 May 2010). "Pune blast: Man held in Mangalore may be bomber". The Times of India. 
  41. ^ Staff Writer (25 May 2010). "Bhatkal prime suspect in Pune blast: P Chidambaram". PTI. 
  42. ^ Sudipto Mondal (25 May 2010). "Abdul Samad arrested at Bajpe airport". The Hindu. 
  43. ^ "Pune blast accused underwent bomb making training in Colombo Read more: Pune blast accused underwent bomb making training in Colombo". The Times of India. 9 September 2010. Retrieved 12 September 2010. 
  44. ^ "Terror probe: 6 Indian Mujahideen operatives held in Delhi, say sources". NDTV. 30 November 2011. 
  45. ^ "German Bakery, Jama Masjid blast cases solved?". CNN-IBN. 30 November 2011. 
  46. ^ "Jama Masjid attack suspects arrested". Hindustan Times. 30 November 2011. 
  47. ^ "6 Indian Mujahideen terror suspects held across country". The Indian Express. 30 November 2011. 
  48. ^ "Madhubani youths: Police deny but media link them with terror". Two Circles.net. 29 November.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  49. ^ "German Bakery blast: Himayat Baig gets death sentence". http://zeenews.india.com. 18 April.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  50. ^ PTI (15 February 2010). "Manmohan reviews situation". The Hindu. 
  51. ^ PTI (15 February 2010). "Terror and talks cannot coexist, says BJP". The Hindu. 
  52. ^ PTI (15 February 2010). "Left: help Maharashtra identify culprits". The Hindu. 
  53. ^ "Kerala CM condemns terror attacks in Pune and West Midnapore". The Times of India. 17 February 2010. 
  54. ^ "Not alright to say entire Pune targeted, says Pawar". India Today, Headlines Today Bureau. 13 February 2010. 
  55. ^ Rafiq Maqbool (14 February 2010). "Nationalists blame Pakistan for bombing in India". Associated Press. Retrieved 14 February 2010. 
  56. ^ a b PTI (15 February 2010). "US, UK condemn blast". The Hindu. 
  57. ^ Special Correspondent (18 February 2010). "Obama speaks to Manmohan, condemns Pune blast". The Hindu. 

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