2013 Patna bombings

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2013 Patna Serial Blasts
2013 Patna attacks.JPG
Map of the 2013 Patna attacks
Patna is located in India
Patna
Patna
Patna (India)
Location Patna Junction
Multiple locations at Gandhi Maidan Marg, Patna, Bihar, India
Coordinates 25°36′28.77″N 85°10′03.06″E / 25.6079917°N 85.1675167°E / 25.6079917; 85.1675167
Date 27 October 2013 (UTC+05:30)
Attack type
Bombings
Weapons 8 crude bombs[1]
Deaths 6[2]
Non-fatal injuries
85[1]
Suspected perpetrators
Indian Mujahideen

On 27 October 2013, a series of bomb blasts rocked the Indian city of Patna, Bihar at a massive election rally for BJP Prime Ministerial candidate Narendra Modi. Of the estimated 300,000 participants at the "Hunkar" rally, six people were killed and 85 others were injured in eight bomb blasts. [3][2][1][4][5]

No one has claimed responsibility for the explosions;[6] however, investigations suggest Indian Mujahideen were culpable.[7]

Bombings[edit]

Narendra Modi at Hunkar Rally in Patna

On the morning of 27 October 2013, the first bomb exploded at Patna Junction railway station at around 10:00 , while two unexploded bombs were recovered by bomb disposal personnel. The second bomb exploded at 12:10, while the third bomb exploded at 12:25, both near Gandhi Maidan, where the Bharatiya Janata Party’s Prime Ministerial candidate Narendra Modi was supposed to hold a rally in the lead-up to the Indian general election, 2014 a couple of hours later. There were five other blasts from which three bombs exploded in and out of the Gandhi Maidan area, one exploded near a cinema hall and another close to the Twin Tower building complex in Patna.[8][9]

The chronology of the bombings were:[10]

  • 09:30 Sulabh Sauchalaya
  • 11:40 near Udyog Bhawan
  • 12:05 near eastern side of Regent Cinema
  • 12:10 near Mohandas Gandhi Statue at Gandhi Maidan
  • 12:15 near Twin Towers of Southern Periphery of Gandhi Maidan
  • 12:20 near State Bank of India (west Gandhi Maidan)
  • 12:25 near Children’s Park (North-western side)
  • 13:35 Modi started his speech.
  • 17:15 inside Gandhi Maidan

Railway station[edit]

A crude bomb exploded on an isolated place on platform 10 of Patna Junction railway station. One person who sustained injuries in this blast died. According to Railway Protection Force, the explosion took place at a paid toilet within the station. Two more homemade bombs were defused.[11] According to Union ministry, one of the two crude bombs placed had a timer attached to it.[12]

Gandhi Maidan[edit]

Gandhi Maidan was the venue of Narendra Modi's rally

Later that day, five more low intensity blasts took place in Gandhi Maidan, where the pre-election rally of Narendra Modi was taking place. Several people were injured in these blasts.[11] One more blast took place in Elphinstine cinema hall near the Gandhi Maidan, injuring six people.[13] One more unexploded bomb was found below the dais where Narendra Modi had spoken in the rally,[1] which has been defused. The eighth bomb exploded around 5 PM on the same day, which was believed to be hidden under garbage.[1]

Reactions[edit]

Narendra Modi meeting the families of the victims of the blast

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh condemned the blasts and spoke to Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar asking him to hasten a probe into the incidents. The Home Ministry sent NIA and NSG teams to the blast sites for investigate.[13] Union Minister of State for Home R. P. N. Singh assured the Bihar government that the central government would provide all assistance in investigating the blast incident.[1] For his part, Kumar condemned the blasts and said that his government had provided full security for the rally. He also revealed that a suspicious suitcase was found in Gandhi Maidan two days previously and henceforth security would be beefed up.[10] He also cancelled his scheduled trip of Munger and convened a meeting on the law and order situation.[1] Narendra Modi expressed his condolences for the bomb blast victims online.[1] A week after the blast, Modi returned to Bihar to offer condolences and Rs. 500,000 to the families of the six people killed in the attack. [14] Dense fog allowed him to visit only three families while the other three were contacted over the phone. [15]

Former Deputy CM of Bihar Sushil Kumar Modi called it a deliberate administrative failure and criminal negligence and wrong on Twitter:[10][16] "When I saw 3 blast in gandhi Maidan,I ranged DGP Bihar.he said that truck tyre has burst." [sic]

An Indian National Congress leader, Shakeel Ahmad, wrote: "Blasts during Modi Ji’s 1st visit as PM hopeful to Bihar should be condemned by one and all. State govt and NIA should unearth the conspiracy." [sic][10] General Secretary Digvijaya Singh said: "What a coincidence blast at Patna Railway on the day of Modi’s Rally ! Challenge to Nitish Govt to find the culprit !."[10]

Jamaat-e-Islami Hind General Secretary Nusrat Ali called for strong action against those who carried out the attacks.[17]

Hours after the attacks Union Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde was spotted at the music launch party of Bollywood movie Rajjo along with Kangana Ranaut. Several political parties, including the national Bharatiya Janata Party and Communist Party of India criticised his presence immediately after the blasts.[18]

Investigation[edit]

Within days of the blasts, the Nitish Kumar government in Bihar requested Union Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde to have the National Investigation Agency (NIA) take over the case. [19] As terrorists were planting the bombs at Patna Train station, one of the bombs prematurely exploded due to a wiring error. [20] One of the suspects planting the bomb, Tarique alias Ainul was critically injured in the blast and died a few days later.[19] Patna police converged on the scene of the blast and apprehended Imtiaz Ansari as he was attempting to flee in possession of explosives. [21] Interrogation of Imtiaz Ansari revealed that the bombings were coordinated by Indian Mujahideen, a Pakistani-linked Muslim terrorist group operating out of India. Ansari confessed that the goal was to ring the rally ground with bombs and cause a stampede during the rally to kill as many of the participants, particularly women and children, as possible. [21] However, as the blasts went off, BJP officials organizing the rally led the crowd to believe they were fire crackers and appealed for calm, thus averting a much greater loss of life and foiling the Indian Mujahideen's plans of inciting a deadly stampede that could have killed hundreds. [22][23] In the initial days of the investigation, six suspects were detained for interrogation based on leads obtained by police from Imtiaz Ansari.[19]

Investigators believe Mohammad Tehsin Akhtar alias Monu to be the mastermind behind the serial blasts, and the second-highest ranking leader of the terrorist outfit, Indian Mujahideen. [24] Tehsin had been radicalized at a madrasa in Chikmagular in 2005 and has moved up the ranks in the terrorist group since then. [25] After the blasts, the terrorist mastermind Tehsin Akhtar was revealed by news media as the nephew of Taqui Akhtar, a leader of the Janata Dal (United) Party, which is currently in power in Bihar led by Chief Minister Nitish Kumar. Taqui publically disowned his nephew after reports of his involvement in the serial blasts arose in the media.[24]

The Gujarat Director General of Police lambasted the Bihar administration for lack of cooperation and a lax approach to security for the rally despite receiving general intelligence inputs from the Intelligence Bureau of possible blasts during Modi's rally.[26] He said that basic procedures mandatory for all public meetings, such as anti-sabotage checks and pre-event drills were not carried out by Bihar police despite requests made by Gujarat police officials.[27] BJP leaders, including former Bihar deputy chief minister, Sushil Kumar Modi, asserted that the security lapses were a deliberate, possibly criminal attempt by Bihar Chief Minister, Nitish Kumar, to take revenge on his political enemy, Narendra Modi.[28][29] Nitish Kumar rejected this charge saying that he had directed police to make all necessary security arrangements for the event.[30]

On 5 November, 2013, a tip-off in tracking one of the suspected masterminds of the blasts led the National Intelligence Agency to a small hotel in Ranchi, 350 kilometers from Patna, where they discovered 9 live bombs just like those used in the Patna blasts. [31] Police suspect that the Patna bomb blast suspects have been staying at this hotel. [32] By April 2014, NIA had arrested eight suspects for their alleged involvement in the explosions.[33]

Chargesheet[edit]

On 24 April 2014, NIA filed the first chargesheet in the matter against Imtiyaz Ansari under various provisions of the Indian Penal Code, Explosive Substances Act and other laws at an NIA special court. Cash rewards ranging from Rs. 5 lakh to Rs. 10 lakh have been declared for the arrest of the absconding accused -- Mujibulla, Hyder Ali, Numan and Taufiq Ansari.[33]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h Simantik Dowerah (27 October 2013). "Patna blasts live: 8th explosion hits Gandhi Maidan at 5.10 pm". 
  2. ^ a b Gyan Prakash; Sayantanee Choudhury; Deeptiman Tiwary (28 October 2013). "6 killed in 8 explosions as IM targets Modi's Patna rally". Times of India. Retrieved 30 October 2013. 
  3. ^ Kanwal, Rahul (27 October 2013). "Narendra Modi rocks Patna, record crowd at Hunkar rally". India Today. Retrieved 30 October 2013. 
  4. ^ Shubham Ghosh (27 October 2013). "Hunkaar Rally updates: 7 blasts in Patna, say reports". 
  5. ^ "Serial blasts at Patna hours ahead of Narendra Modi's rally; 1 dead, 16 injured". Hindustan Times. Retrieved 27 October 2013. 
  6. ^ Balwani, Shikhar. "Indian City of Patna Targeted as Bombings Kill Five". Bloomberg. Retrieved 27 October 2013. 
  7. ^ "Indian Mujahideen plotted the Serial Bomb Blasts in Patna". Retrieved 28 October 2013. 
  8. ^ Saturday, November 2, 2013 (2013-10-27). "Five dead as terror hits Modi's Patna rally (Fourth Lead)". Business Standard. Retrieved 2013-11-01. 
  9. ^ By Ians - Patna (2013-10-27). "Five dead as terror hits Modi's Patna rally". The New Indian Express. Retrieved 2013-11-01. 
  10. ^ a b c d e "Political Parties unilaterally Condemn Patna Serial Bomb Blasts". Biharprabha News. Retrieved 28 October 2013. 
  11. ^ a b Express News Service (27 October 2013). "LIVE: Modi attacks Rahul, says nation feels bad on dynasty politics". 
  12. ^ Simantik Dowerah (27 October 2013). "Patna blast live: Before Modi's Hunkar, bombs steal thunder". 
  13. ^ a b The Hindu (27 October 2013). "Serial bomb blasts at Modi rally, several injured". Chennai, India. 
  14. ^ "Narendra Modi meets families of Patna blast victims, says he is thankful to people for their support Read more at: http://indiatoday.intoday.in/story/narendra-modi-in-patna-meets-blasts-victims-families/1/321332.html". India Today. 2 November 2013. Retrieved 5 November 2013. 
  15. ^ "Patna blasts: Victim’s widow stumps Narendra Modi, speaks in Gujarati". Times of India. 3 November 2013. Retrieved 5 November 2013. 
  16. ^ "https://twitter.com/SushilModi/statuses/394414663263203328". Retrieved 28 October 2013. 
  17. ^ "Punish the guilty in Patna, says Jamaat". Zee News. Retrieved 28 October 2013. 
  18. ^ "Sushilkumar Shinde spotted at Page 3 Party after Patna Bomb Blasts". Biharprabha News. Retrieved 28 October 2013. 
  19. ^ a b c PTI (30 October 2013). "Patna blasts: Third suspect arrested in Ranchi, probe given to NIA". Times of India. Retrieved 30 October 2013. 
  20. ^ Tiwary, Deeptiman (31 October 2013). "Patna serial blasts: Wrongly wired bomb saved lives, led to arrest". Times of India. Retrieved 31 October 2013. 
  21. ^ a b Sayantanee Chaudary; Gyan Prakash; Deeptiman Tiwary (Oct 29, 2013). "Patna blasts: IM aimed at setting off stampede at Modi's rally". Times of India. Retrieved 30 October 2013. 
  22. ^ Kakisi, Rahgoed (28 October 2013). "Patna serial blasts: Give BJP credit for keeping the calm during the Modi rally". India Today. Retrieved 30 October 2013. 
  23. ^ Singh, Sanjay (28 October 2013). "Patna blasts showed Modi's leadership, Nitish's ineptness". Firstpost. Retrieved 30 October 2013. 
  24. ^ a b PTI (30 October 2013). "Patna serial blasts mastermind's uncle disowns him". Times of India. Retrieved 30 October 2013. 
  25. ^ Kalkod, Rajiv (30 October 2013). "Patna blasts mastermind perfected bomb-making in Chikmagalur". Times of India. Retrieved 30 October 2013. 
  26. ^ Times News Network (31 October 2013). "Gujarat blames Bihar cops for lax security before Narendra Modi meet". Times of India. Retrieved 31 October 2013. 
  27. ^ Press Trust of India (31 October 2013). "Patna blasts: Bihar failed to ensure Modi's safety, says Gujarat DGP". Firstpost. Retrieved 31 October 2013. 
  28. ^ IANS (28 October 2013). "Patna blasts: BJP accuses Nitish Kumar of deliberate security lapses". Times of India. Retrieved 31 October 2013. 
  29. ^ Singh, Abhay (29 October 2013). "Govt's neglect of Narendra Modi security 'deliberate': BJP". Times of India. Retrieved 31 October 2013. 
  30. ^ Times News Network (29 October 2013). "Nitish Kumar takes dig at Narendra Modi, says have 'patience for PM post'". Times of India. Retrieved 31 October 2013. 
  31. ^ "Patna blasts: India investigators find explosives in Jharkhand hotel". www.BBC.com (BBC). 5 November 2013. Retrieved 5 November 2013. 
  32. ^ "27 live bombs found in Ranchi hotel, Patna blasts suspect reportedly stayed there". NDTV.com. NDTV. Retrieved 5 November 2013. 
  33. ^ a b Pandey, Devesh K (24 April 2014). "Patna blast case: NIA files charge sheet". The Hindu. Retrieved 5 May 2014.