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Ahmedabad Blasts 2008: A Tragic Day in Gujarat’s History

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A series of 21 coordinated bomb blasts struck the city of Ahmedabad on 26th July 2008. These blasts left a trail of devastation and sorrow in their wake. The blasts occurred in various locations across the city, targeting busy markets, public spaces, and public transportation hubs during the evening rush hour. This attack by the terror group Indian Mujahideen caused the loss of 56 innocent lives while leaving more than 200 people injured.

Ahmedabad’s Horrifying 21 Blasts

Image: Where the terrorists struck - Rediff.com
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The Ahmedabad blasts sent shockwaves throughout the nation. One day after Bangalore’s blasts, the citizens of Ahmedabad were grappling to comprehend the senseless violence and its tragic aftermath in their city. The blasts took place in crowded areas, including markets, bus stations, and hospitals. The first blast occurred at 7:45 p.m., and the last one at 10:15 p.m. Suitcases, backpacks, and tiffin boxes were hiding places for the bombs. The Indian Mujahideen (IM) claimed responsibility for the attacks. Later investigations discovered Pakistani links to the terrorist group.

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Court convicts Indian Mujahideen terrorists for their role in the 2008 Ahmedabad bomb blasts
PC HinduPost

The 21 blasts in Ahmedabad killed 56 people and injured over 200 others. The blasts also caused widespread property damage. The attacks led to a sense of fear and insecurity among the residents of Ahmedabad. Many people were afraid to go out in public, and some businesses were forced to close down. The attacks also harmed the city’s economy in a BJP-ruled state. 

Investigation and Aftermath

Court sentences 38 to death for 2008 Gujarat bombings | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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The Gujarat Police launched a massive investigation into the 21 blasts. The investigation involved over 1,000 police officers and lasted for several years. The security forces and emergency services worked tirelessly to tend to the injured, investigate the incidents, and ensure the safety of the people. The subsequent trials of the 77 accused resulted in the conviction of 49 perpetrators.

38 of the accused were given the death sentence and 11 were awarded life imprisonment. The remaining 28 were acquitted, due to lack of evidence. 

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38 convicts sentenced to death, 11 get life imprisonment in Ahmedabad serial bomb blast case of 2008 -
PC Gujarat Headlines

The resilience and spirit of the people of Ahmedabad were evident in the aftermath of the attacks, as communities came together to support those affected and refused to be cowed by fear. The blasts, while devastating, also brought to the fore the strength of unity and the unyielding determination to stand united in the face of terror.

In the aftermath of the blasts, the government of Gujarat announced several measures to improve security in the city. These measures included increased police patrolling, the installation of CCTV cameras, and the deployment of bomb detection squads.

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Who were the Indian Mujahideen?

The IM is a banned radical Islamist group that emerged in India. It is responsible for several terrorist attacks across the country between 2008 and 1010. The group has been linked to various bombings and attacks in different Indian cities. They are known for their use of sophisticated techniques and tactics in carrying out these attacks. The motive behind their actions is to spread fear, create communal tensions, and undermine the stability and security of the country.

2008 Ahmedabad Serial blast case: The Key Convicts | Ahmedabad News - The Indian Express
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After the blasts, investigations by Indian authorities led to the identification and arrest of several individuals associated with the Indian Mujahideen, revealing the network behind these heinous acts of violence. After a ban by the Indian government, the IM regrouped under a different banner in 2010. The new splinter group calls itself Ansar Ghazwat-ul-Hind (AGH). This group has been responsible for a number of attacks in India since its formation in 2014. The 2017 attack on the Indian Air Force base in Pathankot was also the deed of the AGH.

Conclusion

The 2008 terror attack left an indelible scar on the hearts of the people of Ahmedabad and the entire country. The violence shattered families, brought anguish to communities, and raised questions about the security measures in place to prevent such atrocities. The investigations into the blasts led to the arrest of several suspects. 

The 2008 tragedy serves as a grim reminder of the ongoing threat posed by sleeper cells of the ‘peaceful’ terrorist organizations. Moreover, it underscores the importance of maintaining vigilance to safeguard public safety. In the years since the tragedy, efforts have been made to enhance security measures, intelligence sharing, and cooperation among law enforcement agencies to prevent such heinous acts from occurring in the future. However, the rise of a Hindu party in India is a serious threat to such organizations. The run-up to the 2024 general elections is likely to witness a reactivation in several terrorist factions. The security forces should gear up for the upcoming pushback from Soros-funded terror groups; whose main aim would be to destabilize the nation and dethrone PM Modi. 

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