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2010 Varanasi Bomb Blast


A bomb blast occurred on the bank of Ganga at the Sheetla Ghat in Varanasi on December 7, 2010 at 6:30 pm. Shitla Ghat is one amongst the three popular ghats near the famous Vishwanath temple in Varanasi.

Blast during Ganga Aarti time

The blast occurred just five minutes after the 'Ganga Aarti'. Ganga Aarti is a ritual that involves the circulating of an 'Aarti plate' or 'Aarti lamp' around the deity and is generally accompanied by the singing of songs in praise of the deity. This daily ritual that begins at 5:40 pm is generally attended by as many as 2000 to 3000 devotees every day.

It is learnt that the bomb has been placed in a milk container kept on the stairs leading to Dashashwamedh ghat. Two Improvised Explosive Devices (IED) have been recovered from the site. The first one was actually planted in a milk container that trigerred the blast. The second was recovered from a dustbin at the blast site. A stampede followed the blast and a railing broke injuring another 15-20 people.

The blast occurred about some distance away from the actual aarti place and hence a major disaster has been averted.

One dead, 32 others injured

According to the preliminary reports, at least 41 people were seriously injured. It is reported that at least 7 foreigners are among the injured. The injured have been immediately taken to the district hospital and the Banaras Hindu University Hospital.

According to the initial reports, an 18-month-old girl named Swastika Sharma was reported to be dead. The Indian Home Ministry confirmed the blast. Union Home Ministry Secretary for Internal Security UK Bansal said that high alert has been raised in all major cities including Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad and Bangalore in the country. Anti-terror measures were activated as soon as the blast occurred in Varanasi. Security has been stepped up in New Delhi and special security is deployed in major tourist locations in the country. Speaking to the media, Prem Prakash, DIG of Varanasi told that the blast is a medium-intensity one. The Government has not received any special intelligence inputs prior to the attack.

Indian Mujahideen claims the blast

Union Home Secretary GK Pillai said that the terrorist group 'Indian Mujahideen' is behind the blasts. Indian Mujahideen also claimed the responsibility by sending an email to various media houses. They said that the blast is a revenge to the Babri mosque demolition suit case verdict. Indian Mujahideen was also responsible for the Ahmedabad bomb blasts in July 2008.

The last time a blast occurred in the holy town of Varanasi was on March 7, 2006 when a twin-blast occured killing 20 and injuring about 100.

Reactions

The Prime Minister of India Dr. Manmohan Singh condemned the attack and has appealed the people to remain calm. He sought a detailed report on the same from the home ministry. UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi also condemned the blast.

BJP Senior leader and Member of Parliament from Varanasi Murli Manohar Joshi said, "Security must be strengthened at the ghats because many foreigners come to visit especially in this month."

Home Ministry issues national wide alert

The Indian home ministry has issued a national wide alert following the Varanasi blast. Security has been stepped up in four major cities Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore and Hyderabad. Anti-terror measures were immediately applied in Varanasi after the blast. A National Investigation Agency high level team is also expected to reach Varanasi.

2010 Varanasi Bomb Blast in News

December 8, 2010 in Andhra Pradesh
A glimpse of events and happenings from Andhra Pradesh on December 8, 2010

Varanasi blast: PM appeals for calm, asks for report from Home Ministry
The Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh, has appealed to the people to maintain calm and asked the Home Ministry for a detailed report into the blast that took place at the Dashashwamedh Ghat in Varanasi on Tuesday evening.

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