Hyderabad Blasts
August 26, 2007 8:52 AM   Subscribe

Twin blasts rocked the city of Hyderabad late on Saturday evening killing at least 41 people, and wounding dozens others, while 19 other unexploded devices were found a day after. The hand of a Bangladeshi Terror group, perhaps the same one that was responsible for the Mecca Masjid blasts, may be behind the killings.
posted by hadjiboy (18 comments total)
posted by amberglow at 10:00 AM on August 26, 2007

I was there less than a month ago, things change so fast.
posted by theiconoclast31 at 10:17 AM on August 26, 2007

Gosh, how awful.
posted by goo at 10:33 AM on August 26, 2007

::Dons his ignorant American cap::

Why? I'm completely clueless as to what this was all about. Zero background info. Help?
posted by CitrusFreak12 at 11:27 AM on August 26, 2007

posted by DenOfSizer at 11:41 AM on August 26, 2007

I'm sorry to hear that hadjiboy.
I must confess that, like citrusfreak, I have no idea what the Bangladeshi Terror Group is trying to accomplish and what the context is of this event.
posted by jouke at 11:46 AM on August 26, 2007


Holy shit is the first thought that comes to mind. Those bodies ripped, blasted to shreds. How awful. Reading about this, or any, religious terrorism, holy shit seems sadly appropriate.

About Dera Sacha Sauda on Wkipedia.
posted by nickyskye at 2:10 PM on August 26, 2007

Jesus. Fortunately for me, my buddy there and his family are OK.
posted by orthogonality at 2:32 PM on August 26, 2007

More people dead over perceived insults and imagined slights.

posted by batmonkey at 3:47 PM on August 26, 2007

"Thou shalt give equal worth to tragedies that occur in non-English speaking countries as to those that occur in English speaking countries."

Nine posts, huh?

posted by PeterMcDermott at 4:43 PM on August 26, 2007 [1 favorite]

It's probably in the linked info, but why on earth is a Bangladeshi group attacking a strongly Muslim city like Hyderabad? And nickyskye - that mob you linked to seem to be Sikhs. I'm confused.
posted by UbuRoivas at 4:46 PM on August 26, 2007

posted by klausness at 5:11 PM on August 26, 2007

Videos here.

There were two locations where the blasts happened, one at Lumbini Park on the banks of the Hussain Sagar, and another at Gokul Chat Bhandar at Kothi (and two other places where they found unexploded bombs; because of a late-night drizzle, the bombs apparently were wet, and were found by the bomb-disposal squads)

I was at Lumbini Park some 30 minutes before the blasts took place.

Wasn't doing well for the last few days - blame it on the Monsoons! - so I decided to duck the traffic jam that was forming, and head home through one of Hyderabad's innumerable gallis (by-lanes) instead of soaking in the ephemeral beauty that is the Hussain Sagar.

And beautiful it was; the rains had just subsided, there was this cool breeze that was blowing over the lake. It was, as they say it in the local patois, badmaashi ka mausam, a weather for naughtiness, a romantic throwback not just Hyderabad's rich bi-lingual poetico-literary tradition, but also to the legend of its founding; for, the city was mostly founded as a torrid love affair.

Both metaphorically and literally (if you look at the map), then, the Hussain Sagar is at the heart of Hyderabad. It is as central to Hyderabad as Champs Elysee is to Paris, or the Esplanade is to Singapore, or Victoria Peak is to Hong Kong. This is heartland Hyderabad; this is where I grew up, this is where I come home to roost.

This is where some twenty or so of those 40 souls died on Saturday night. This was the worst attack in Hyderabad's history; never have so many died on a single night in the last four hundred years.

This was the closest I've ever been to a terrorist attack, both physically and emotionally. I can't tell you just how many people have been telling me the same story over and over; that they were planning to go to either Gokul Chat or Lumbini on Saturday night, that because of the rain, they decided not to.

By morning, it was apparent that at least one of the victims was two-degrees-seperated from us [2]; one of my dad's colleagues, apparently, went to Gokul Chat Bhandar for some late-evening chaat. He died at Osmania Hospital, paradoxically I hasten to add, but for some reasons I don't wish to elaborate on a public forum. (I didn't know him or his family personally, and obviously, can't speak for them, but know enough of the situation to call the circumstances of his death as being paradoxical).

I happened to be drive-past Necklace Road yesterday evening. It wasn't a concious choice; a friend's wedding [1] was taking place somewhere in the vicinity, and I absent-mindedly chose drove along Hussain Sagar. The road was damp, dreary and deserted; mine was the only car in the entire stretch. They blocked NTR Marg, the road leading in front of Lumbini Park, completely, but hadn't blocked any of the other roads encircling Hussain Sagar. People seem to have chosen not to come out on their own volution.

I was again back at Lumbini Park today; again, it was the easiest route to take. There were some BJP supporters waving flags; lots of protests today in the state, BJP called for a bandh. Many shops were closed because of that, buses running on a skelter service, and there were policemen on the streets everywhere, but there was nothing else out of the ordinary. I'm used to bandhs, I wasn't used to Hyderabadis staying away from the roads.

By mid-day, though, Hyderabad's horrendous traffic was crawling back on its streets.
[1] - Yesterday's lead lunar asterism, or nakshatra, Shravana, happens to be the lunar asterism under which the Hindu god, Venkateswara was born. Because the current lunar month is also called Sraavana, many pandits apparently considered the day particularly auspicious for weddings.

I personally think it's a load of bollocks; the day was auspicious/ lucky as any other. There's nothing in the Vedanga Jyotisa or the Surya Siddhanta that made it particularly auspicious. Quite a bit of a tangent, but had to make that point somewhere.
posted by the cydonian at 3:46 AM on August 27, 2007 [1 favorite]

I was at Lumbini Park some 30 minutes before the blasts took place

You're kidding me! I just sent you an email after reading yours (and assuming) that you were nowhere near the blast. That's chilling.

I'm sorry to hear about your dad's friend. I was actually asleep the evening the blasts took place. One of my sisters' friends messaged her about it and my mother switched on the news to see what was happening. I only found out what had happened the other morning and couldn't believe my eyes.
Hyderabad wore a face of disbelief the next day. Everywhere I went, in the morning, people were busy reading the Newspaper about the articles detailing the incident.
And then, in the evening, I had booked three tickets for my mom, my sister and myself, at PVR (the day before), and we were wondering if they'd be screening any movies or canceling them all together, only to reach the theater and find the security beefed up to the wazoo. Opening of the car boot and checking the underside and all. Spooky stuff.
It's also being reported that the Intelligence Agencies had warned of something like this taking place in Hyderabad, but our government was still caught unawares.

CitrusFreak--I'm as clueless as you are about the Bangladeshi link, although now they're saying that there might've been a Naxal link to the tragedy.
posted by hadjiboy at 4:50 AM on August 27, 2007

I think part of the reason that there is such a small response to this post is because many people, like myself, do not know the background info. We don't know the players, the motives, the history behind it. So it seems to be an isolated incident. "Oh a bomb went off, how sad," instead of "Oh a Bangladeshi terror group (who might have been responsible for these attacks in the past that I have heard about) might be responsible for it, and they are doing this because of ________________. I wonder how _______________ will respond to this."

It'd kinda be like me turning on the news in the US without having any idea who Al Queda or Hamas are, or what they've done in the past (and why), so any current news on the situation wouldn't ring any bells in my head and cause my interest to be piqued.

Does that make any sense? I hope it does.
posted by CitrusFreak12 at 10:45 AM on August 27, 2007

Harakat ul-Jihad-i-Islami (HUJI) is the "Bangladeshi terror group" that appears to be under suspicion. They have domestic goals within Bangladesh, but apparently they are interested in attacking/destabilizing India as well. In addition, HUJI is linked to Pakistan thus potentially to the issues in Kashmir. As to why they would attack a mosque, the writer of this article thinks it was, in part, to sow communal hatred.

I'm no expert on this topic, this is just information I scraped together. Maybe if there is going to be a Metafilter University someone should do a geopolitics course?
posted by thrako at 4:48 PM on August 27, 2007

Harakat ul-Jihad-i-Islami, huh? Think what you like, but I believe that Mogambo is ultimately behind this.
posted by UbuRoivas at 5:30 PM on August 27, 2007

Apologies for the spelling/ grammar mistakes in my earlier post. Was in a hurry.

Hadji: Heh, well, was going to post that link as well. Do note that only NDTV is currently reporting the Naxal link. And the only reason why they seem to be saying is that the blasts were caused by gelatin sticks, and apparently, the Naxals usually use them as well.

Ubu: I know you were being facetious, but seems to me that public discourse here lately is completely driven by shot-gun journalism at its worst. Everyone is out for a soundbite, everyone is quick to jump to conclusions as a result.

Personally, I think it's a bit too early to say 'group x'; if there's anything we've learnt in the last six years, it is that these groups are extremely decentralized. For all you know, there could be only three or four folk planting all these bombs across the city. Don't think India is 'ready' to face that reality, though; people still seem to prefer larger-than-life villains to a small team of motivated bomb-planters.

You get the feeling that the government is also playing along with that fiction, because the alternative is even more scary, that nobody knows why or how this is happening.
posted by the cydonian at 10:22 PM on August 27, 2007

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