One day after eight synchronized bombs ripped through the tourist city of Jaipur in Rajasthan, killing 63 people and injuring over 200, it was deserted on Wednesday as state government offices remained closed as a mark of respect to the dead. There was palpable fear among the city’s residents blasts and investigators were still clueless about the perpetrators of the explosions.
Over 60 people were killed by eight blasts on Tuesday
Tens of thousands of people were shuttered in their homes as an uneasy calm descended on the city where eight bombs went off on Tuesday evening. In just 15 minutes, a bloodbath such as Jaipur had never witnessed, was created within a one kilometre radius.
One country after another denounced the terror attacks. The US offered to help in the probe that had yet to pinpoint those behind the blasts.
“We have condemned those who have carried out these ruthless attacks on innocent civilians and also recorded our willingness to be of whatsoever assistance we can, in any way in analyzing or understanding the aftermath of this tragedy” said US ambassador to India David Mulford, adding that the US was willing to share intelligence with Indian investigators.
Rajasthan's Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government accused the central government of failing to provide focussed intelligence that could have foiled the coordinated bombings.
The state’s Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje condemned the serial blasts and called for a prevention of terrorism act, a so-called POTA, saying that it looked “like these explosions were the handiwork of an international terrorist gang that is well-organised.”
Solidarity amid grief
Most of the wounded were taken to two hospitals, where doctors worked through the night performing emergency surgeries.
Doctors said on Wednesday that many of the wounded were still in a serious condition. Many had shrapnel wounds from the bombs, which were kept in bags and concealed in nine new bicycles before going off without any warning.
Many Jaipur residents crowded the hospitals to offer blood, creating welcome moments of solidarity amid the scenes of sorrow and grief.
Investigators have yet to find those responsible for the blasts although the government said the attack smacked of a “deep-rooted and very well-planned conspiracy” to disturb communal harmony in the country.
Indian foreign secretary Shivshankar Menon refused to name any particular country in connection with the blasts: “I don’t want to jump to any conclusions here.”
“We are still in the process of investigating,” he said. “Once we come to certain conclusions, then we will decide what we will do, who we will talk to. It’s a mechanism through which you ask each other for things you think might be helpful in combating terrorism.”
Shivshankar Menon and external affairs minister Pranab Mukherjee are heading to Islamabad next week for a new round of the composite dialogue between India and Pakistan.
They are due to review the progress made in the fourth round of their dialogue. The latest developments in Jaipur will ensure that terrorism tops the agenda.