Friday, October 31, 2008

India Assam Bombings: Whose Blood Is On The Street

"I looked back, ran to the shop and found my brother lying in a pool of blood. He was dead among seven others."

The aftermath of the October 30 serial bombings in the north-eastern Indian state of Assam brings with it stories from survivors, victims and families of those blown to bits by islamist terrorists. Of the thirteen explosions, one took the life of 32-year old Ajay Das on the eve of finalizing his wedding date:
His grieving family said Titon, as Ajay was fondly called, had dropped out of school at a tender age to help his father and elder brother in their family business in Kokrajhar town. After years of hard work, the Das family had just begun to lead a comfortable life and was planning to marry off Titon. But Thursday's terror attack dashed all their hopes.

Parents of younger children were panic-stricken when their frantic calls to elementary schools went unanswered; were their children safe? Had schools been targeted? Would they be? After the first bomb went off in Ganeshguri at 11:15 am, no parent could know how many more would explode before school was set to send students home later in the afternoon.
"With cellphone networks jammed, I was getting desperate with every passing minute," said Sonali Burman, mother of a kindergarten student. "I called up the school, but the lines were clogged."
Sudhin Paul, a businessman, was terror struck when he learnt that an explosion had rocked Panbazaar area — his daughter studies in a school there.
"My wife was the first to react. She took my scooter and rushed to the school," he said. School and college authorities were desperate to keep campuses free from the tension and chaos outside.

As police and other emergency responders arrived to offer assistance to the survivors of the 13 bombs that went off over a 45-minute period, they faced a crowd that unleashed all their pent up frustrations with their government's inability to keep them safe:

[A]ngry protesters hurled bricks and stones at policemen, screaming against the administration's security failure. "We want justice. The Tarun Gogoi government has failed to protect us," the crowd shouted every time they rushed in to confront the police.

"Why not? We have lost our near and dear ones," a young engineering student from Lichubagan area said. The blast had killed six persons from his locality.
Police fired tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse the mobs. The smell of the gas, however, was not strong enough to cover the stench of burnt flesh that lingered in the area. Pieces of human flesh covered with flies still lay littered in the area.

As the days go on we'll learn more tragic details about the men and women, the children and the aged, whose lives were cut short from timed bombs hidden in automobiles, motorcycles, bikes and rickshaws, bombs hidden by monsters masquerading as civilized human beings.

As yet, circumstances make it difficult for the media to report such biographical details to any great degree:
Some victims were charred to death in their vehicles, and clouds of black smoke towered over Guwahati as the streets filled with the screams of the injured and the dying.

Many of the dead were literally torn apart and vehicles in the target zone were turned to charred heaps of metal.

No comments: