Published On:14 September 2011
Posted by Indian Muslim Observer

Delhi High Court blast leaves huge security questions

By Abdul Qadir Shams

With terrorists attacking as security-sensitive a place as the Delhi High Court, the enemies of India and humanity have not only shaken India’s capital but also left question marks on its security system. I was present there when the blast took place at Gate No. 5 of the High Court on 7 September at 10:15am.

I have neither words nor is my stupefied mind able to describe in detail the gruesome scene that my eyes witnessed. However, I have no hesitation in holding it as a failure of our security system. Although it remains such a dastardly act of terror which is as condemnable as it could possibly be condemned.

On a rainy morning of 7 September a blast of high intensity occurred at a time when people intending to enter the High Court were doing their registration. The blast was so intense that the bodies of many people were maimed. The intensity of the blast took away my sense as I stood just 3 meters away from it. For a few seconds there was smoke all over. When the smoke dispersed there were bodies lying all over. People were wailing and crying with pain. Some had lost their hand, others their feet. Human bodies lay all around. There was blood all over the registration hall. The blast was so powerful that the roof of the registration hall was blown away and particles of explosive materials were spread over the entire area.

My wife was making pass at the registration counter. Braving the thick smoke I tried to look for her and found her senseless. Initially there was no one to attend to the injured. Some lawyers and some other people standing there came to the rescue of the injured. I was also helping them. Police came for help very late. I saw that instead of providing first aid and immediate help to the people, the police were busy cordoning off the area and dispersing the people. Therefore none would have seen blood stains on police uniforms while carrying people to hospitals. Certainly, the lawyers and people standing there left no stone unturned in providing human sympathy.

After the blast, I saw a 3-4 feet ditch and around 40 people looked dead in their blood covered bodies. Some of them were trying hard to indicate that they were alive. Later on the police informed that 12 had died* and 80 were injured. I can never forget the gory scene of such a large number of injured at one place. The important thing is that the maximum number of the injured had lost some part of their body or the other. The injured were admitted to Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital, Safdarjung Hospital, Lok Nayak Jai Prakash Hospital, All India Institute of Medical Sciences and Apollo Hospital.

The injured were fighting with life in several hospitals while their inconsolable family members were mourning for the loss. Most of the dead were the mainstay of their family.

After the blast, not only Delhi but the entire country was shattered and shaken. Security was alerted. Following the blast, Home Minister P. Chidambaram called an emergency inter-departmental meeting and visited the spot within hours. In the ongoing Parliament session he called it a terrorist attack and expressed his resolute view that terrorist would not be allowed to succeed in their motives no matter how clever and shrewd they were.

A.Q. Shams
Members of the National Security Guard, forensic experts along with several intelligence agencies and high profile police officials visited the Delhi High Court, observed and inspected the blast site from different angles. After inspection, home secretary RK Singh said that looking at the nature and intensity of the blast it is guessed that it was an IED [improvised explosive device] bomb blast which was planned by some terrorist group. Addressing the media persons, Singh announced that the investigation of the blast has been handed over to NIA (National Investigations Agency) and a 20-member investigation committee has been formed headed by a DIG.

Investigation agencies said that it was revealed after the initial investigation that explosives made of nitrate had been used with PETN [pentaerythritol tetranitrate]. It is also said that about 2 kg explosive materials were used in it. PETN is a fatal explosive used by terrorists whereas it is commonly used to explode mountains. It was used in 2001 in America, in 2009 in Philippines and in 2010 in London and Mumbai. Secretary, internal security, UK Bansal said that the 2 feet deep ditch was due to the intensity of the blast.

It is a pity with India that wows of eliminating terrorism are renewed after every terror attack and some precautionary measures adopted but they are not implemented fully. For skeptics, it should be noted that a blast had taken place near the same place on 25 May 2011 after which it was decided that CCTV cameras would be installed every where around the court but it did not happen so. It should be noted that there is a metal detector in place after the entry into the court but there is no such arrangement at the registration hall. Surprisingly, there are no additional police forces other than the security personnel at the court’s gate. Need is that CCTV cameras should be installed not only at the Delhi High Court but at every place where the crowd is more than one thousand.

So far as controlling of terrorism is concerned, the intelligence agencies and the police have to give up their old traditional ways of working. Because, before the police and intelligence agencies any clues and reach the depth of their shrewdness, terrorists come up with new pernicious ideas.

Generally, the police, after terrorist attacks, indicate to the minority youth and direct their investigations to them, whereas they should be objective in their investigation. It has repeatedly been felt that there should be close collaboration between intelligence and investigative agencies, but the lack of it is making the efforts to curb terror difficult.

Terrorism cannot be curbed until there is transparency, accountability and a strong collaborative mechanism between various investigating agencies and the police.

There is need to understand the fact that while terrorists and infiltrators are risking peace and security of the country, those within the country and planning such activities are no less dangerous. Getting to the roots of both and eliminating them is the prime responsibility of the government.

*At the time of sending this article to press the blast had claimed one more life taking the number of dead to 13.

Translated from Urdu by Manzar Imam

Note: The author was present at the Delhi High Court at the time of blast. The article was published in Urdu daily Rashtriya Sahara, New Delhi on 9 September 2011.

[AQ Shams is Senior Sub Editor of Aalami Sahara, a sister publication of Sahara India media group, and Manzar Imam is Special Correspondent of IndianMuslimObserver.com. The author and translator, both Delhi-based journalists, can be contacted at shams.sahara@gmail.com and manzarkhalil@gmail.com respectively.]

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Posted by Indian Muslim Observer on September 14, 2011. Filed under , , , , . You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Feel free to leave a response

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