New Delhi: Terrorists have been targeting places of worship for some time now in what seems to be an attempt to fuel communal tensions in states. While blasts targeting mosques seem to be happening on Fridays, during the sacred Friday prayers, when temples are the targets, the day chosen is usually a Tuesday — the Hindu religious day.
There seems to be a clear cut design and the idea is to disturb peace, which is why the attackers choose soft spots like places of worship and the result is not an attack on a mosque or temple, but an attack on India's religious harmony
Here are some of the major blasts that have rocked places of worship in India:
May 7, 2006: At least 20 people were killed and many others injured when two high-intensity blasts rocked the Sankatmochan Temple in Varanasi. The blast happened on a Tuesday evening.
September 8, 2006: At least 37 people were killed and 56 were seriously injured when three bombs concealed on cycles went off near a mosque in Maharashtra’s Malegaon town when people were coming out after Friday afternoon prayers. Thousands of people were out on the streets on Friday for Shab-e-Barat, a festival during which people offer prayers to dead relatives.
May 18, 2007: A bomb exploded at the Mecca mosque in Hyderabad, killing 11 people. The blast shook the crowded mosque, which is situated near the historic Charminar. At least 1,000 people were offering Friday prayers at the mosque, which is the city’s largest.
October 11, 2007: At least two people were killed and 20 others injured when a blast ripped through the sufi shrine of Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti in Ajmer. The blast took place shortly after the custom of Iftaar, when evening prayers were on and at least 500 devotees were packed inside the shrine.
RECENT BOMB BLASTS IN INDIA
|January 2008: Terrorist attack on CRPF camp in Rampur kills eight.|
|October 2007: 2 killed in a blast inside Ajmer Sharif shrine during Ramadan, in Rajasthan. August 2007: 30 dead, 60 hurt in Hyderabad 'terror' strike.|
|May 2007: A bomb at Mecca mosque in Hyderabad kills 11 people.|
|February, 2007: Two bombs explode aboard a train bound from India to Pakistan, burning to death at least 66 passengers, most of them Pakistanis.|
|September 2006: 30 dead and 100 hurt in twin blasts at a mosque in Malegaon.|
|July 2006: Seven bombs on Mumbai's trains kill over 200 and injure 700 others.|
|March 2006: Twin bombings at a train station and a temple in Varanasi kill 20 people.|
|October 2005: Three bombs placed in busy New Delhi markets a day before Diwali kill 62 people and injure hundreds.|
(With inputs from PTI)