2012 Pune bombings

The 2012 Pune bombings was a series of four coordinated[4] low-intensity bombing attacks that occurred on 1 August 2012 across Pune,[5][6] the ninth-largest metropolis in India.[7] As of October 2012, Indian Mujahideen, a terrorist group based in India, is suspected to be behind the attacks.[1][2]

The explosions occurred at locations within a radius of 1 km in Jangli Maharaj Road: in front of Balgandharva Auditorium, opposite to KFC restaurant near Garware Bridge, Dena Bank branch at Jangli Maharaj Road, and in front of a McDonald's restaurant.[8] A fifth live bomb found on JM Road was later defused.[6] The bombs left one injured. All blasts occurred between 7:27 pm and 8:15 pm.[6][9]

The bombings took place on the evening when the new Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde was scheduled to visit the Tilak Smarak Ranga Mandir, a play theatre in the city, for an award ceremony.[8][10]

2012 Pune bombings
2012 Pune bombings map
Map of the 2012 Pune attacks showing the principal targets numbered: (1) Balgandharva Auditorium, (2) Near Dena Bank, JM Road, (3) McDonald's restaurant, (4) near Garware Bridge.
Pune is located in India
Pune
Pune
Pune (India)
LocationMultiple locations at J.M. Road, Pune, Maharashtra, India.
Date1 August 2012 (IST, UTC+05:30)
Attack type
Bombings
DeathsNone reported
Non-fatal injuries
1
Suspected perpetrator
Indian Mujahideen[1][2]
MotiveTo avenge the murder at Pune's Yerwada Jail of Qatil Siddiqui, who was an accused in the German Bakery blast case[1][3]

Victims

Dayanand Bhaurao Patil (age 34), a local tailor, was the only one who was injured.[4] The bomb went off while he was handling the bag. Patil, with minor injuries on his face and stomach, was admitted to Sasoon Hospital[10] and was later interrogated by the police as a suspect. Patil was carrying the explosives in a cake box with sticky material, two detonators and a pencil cell.[5][11] According to his initial statement, Patil, on his way home, had stopped at Balgandharva Auditorium to listen to the speeches at the protest against corruption organised by India Against Corruption with his bag containing his lunchbox besides him. When he stood up to leave, he claimed that he must have picked up the wrong bag. After walking for some time, when he realised this and opened the bag, it exploded.[12]

Speculations

The Police Commissioner of Pune suggested that given the low intensity of the blast and extent of damage, the attacks were rather a mischief than a terrorist attack. However, given the sophisticated circuitry used in the devices, central agencies suspected the role of an terrorist organisation.[5] It was also speculated that the bombings may have been carried out to avenge the murder of Indian Mujahideen commander Qateel Siddiqui or to avenge a central government recommendation that the ban on SIMI be extended for a few more years.[12] Qateel Siddiqui, named in 2010 Pune bombings, 2010 Jama Masjid attack and 2005 Indian Institute of Science shooting, was murdered at Pune's Yerwada Jail in June 2012.[13] Few days ago, the Pune police had received a letter saying Qateel's death would be avenged.[3]

Investigations

The Anti-Terrorism Squad of the Maharashtra Police promptly started investigation of the blasts.[8] Eyewitnesses reported that the bombs were placed in a garbage can and a cycle carrier.[11] The blasts were of such low intensity that members of India Against Corruption who were sitting for an andolan nearby did not know of the blast till the bomb disposal squad arrived.

The National Investigation Agency (NIA) and the National Security Guards (NSG) were alerted following the blasts[11] and NIA teams were dispatched to Pune and Mumbai.

Ammonium nitrate was found to have been used as explosives, with 9 volts batteries as triggers.[10] A total of seven IEDs were used in the blasts.[6] Initially, the bomb disposal squad experts suggested that the moist weather may have reduced the intensity of the blasts.[10] However, upon further investigation, it was found that while the bombs had been constructed to cause maximum damage and take many lives, a design flaw had prevented them from fully exploding.[14]

There were no individual suspects even on 2 August, primarily due to the fact that the CCTV cameras near the blast sites were non-functional.[15] However, the use of bicycles and triggers suggested the possible involvement of Indian Mujahideen.[16]

The Pune Police was criticised for mishandling the evidence at the crime scene. Photographs showed cops lifting the bicycle used for the blasts with their bare hands, contaminating the fingerprints on the cycle. Gloves were not used by many cops while searching the crime scene. Policemen were seen searching for evidence with bullet proof vests, when they should have been using bomb suits and explosive trace detectors.[17]

By 3 August, based on the leads obtained from the owner of a cycle shop that had sold the bikes, the investigators were looking for two suspects aged between 25 and 30 who spoke Hindi and Gujarati,.[18] While inspecting CCTV footage, investigators found a man, closely resembling Yasin Bhatkal, Indian Mujahideen (IM) operative, coming on a bicycle and parking it opposite the Sai Service petrol pump.[19]

Arrests

As of 27 December 2012, a total of eight suspected Indian Mujahideen (IM) terrorists have been arrested. The arrestees are:[1][20][21]

  • Langde Irfan – allegedly an expert in computer and brother-in-law of one of the Pune blast accused, Asad Khan,[1]
  • Asad Khan – allegedly a recruiter, motivator and ideologue of IM,[2]
  • Imran Khan[2]
  • Syed Firoze – one of the planters[2][20]
  • Sayed Maqbool alias Zuber, a history-sheeter, accused of making the IEDs used in the blasts.[22]
  • Sayyed Arif alias Kashif Biyabani – identified potential recruits for IM[20]
  • Munib Iqbal Memon – purchased the SIM cards for phones used in the blasts[20]
  • Farooq Bagwan – purchased the SIM cards for phones used in the blasts[20]

Delhi Police said that many of the arrestees confessed of their involvement in the blasts.[1][2]

See also

References

  1. ^ a b c d e f "Another Suspected IM Militant Held in Pune Blasts Case". Outlook India. 17 October 2012. Retrieved 17 October 2012.
  2. ^ a b c d e f "Pune serial blasts case 'cracked,' three held". The Hindu. Chennai, India. 11 October 2012. Retrieved 17 October 2012.
  3. ^ a b "Letter had warned of attack to avenge Qateel's death: Maharashtra home minister". The Times of India.
  4. ^ a b "Pune rocked by serial bomb blasts; high alert in Maharashtra". Zee News. 1 August 2012.
  5. ^ a b c Byatnal, Amruta; Joshi, Sandeep (1 August 2012). "Four low-intensity blasts in Pune; one injured". The Hindu. Chennai, India.
  6. ^ a b c d "Pune blasts live: All blasts occurred within 1 km radius, says Chavan". Firstpost.com. 1 August 2012.
  7. ^ "Cities having population 1 lakh and above" (PDF). censusindia. The Registrar General & Census Commissioner, India. Retrieved 18 October 2011.
  8. ^ a b c "Three explosions reported from Pune; 'not ruling out anything' say cops". NDTV. 1 August 2012. Retrieved 1 August 2012.
  9. ^ "Four blasts in Pune, one injured, on a night when Sushil Shinde, Home minister was expected". Indiavision news. 1 August 2012.
  10. ^ a b c d "Live: 4 blasts in Pune, 5th bomb defused; ammonium nitrate, 9 volt batteries used". DNA. 1 August 2012.
  11. ^ a b c "Four minor blasts in Pune, one injured". CNN-IBN. 1 August 2012. Retrieved 1 August 2012.
  12. ^ a b "Pune hit by four blasts hours after Shinde takes over as home minister". The Times of India. 1 August 2012.
  13. ^ Pai, Aditi; Raja, Aditi (8 June 2012). "Terror suspect Mohammad Qateel Siddiqui 'murdered' in Pune prison". Daily Mail. London. Retrieved 2 August 2012.
  14. ^ "Bomb design flaw averted major tragedy in Pune". The Times of India. 2 August 2012.
  15. ^ "CCTV cameras at Pune blast sites non-functional". The Hindu. Chennai, India. 2 August 2012.
  16. ^ "Pune blasts LIVE: Evidence hints at Indian Mujahideen hand in attack". Daily Bhaskar. 2 August 2012.
  17. ^ "Pune blasts: Callous cops mishandle key evidence". CNN-IBN. 3 August 2012.
  18. ^ "Pune probe focuses on two men who bought cycles, spoke Hindi, Gujarati". The Indian Express. 3 August 2012.
  19. ^ "Yasin Bhatkal one of the August 1 Pune bombers?". The Times Of India. 11 August 2012.
  20. ^ a b c d e "Pune Blasts Planned After Murder of Terror Accused". OUTLOOK India. 27 December 2012. Retrieved 27 December 2012.
  21. ^ "Pune blasts: Key IM suspect arrested". Zee News. 26 October 2012. Retrieved 26 October 2012.
  22. ^ "5th arrest in Pune blast case, cops say IM planned fidayeen attack on Bodh Gaya". DNA. 26 October 2012. Retrieved 26 October 2012.
Bodh Gaya bombings

On 7 July 2013 a series of ten bombs exploded in and around the Mahabodhi Temple complex, a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Bodh Gaya, India. Five people, including two Buddhist monks, were injured by the blasts. Three other devices were defused by bomb-disposal squads at a number of locations in Gaya.The temple itself and the Bodhi Tree (where Gautama Buddha is believed to have attained enlightenment) were undamaged. However, the Archaeological Survey of India confirmed damage to new structures in the temple complex. International figures, including the Dalai Lama, Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa and Myanmar Opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi, condemned the attacks. On 4 November 2013, the National Investigation Agency announced that the Islamic terrorist group Indian Mujahideen was responsible for the bombings.On 1 June 2018, a special National Investigation Agency (NIA) court of Patna sentenced life imprisonment for 5 prime accused in this case.

Karnataka Forum for Dignity

Karnataka Forum for Dignity (KFD) was an Islamist organization considered an offshoot of the banned terrorist group Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI).Formed in the year 2001, it was active in the coastal city of Mangalore and in the districts of Udupi, Dakshina Kannada, Kodagu of Karnataka state and in Kasargod district of Kerala state. The group merged with Kerala-based political outfit Popular Front of India on 22 November 2006. The Popular Front of India is accused in multiple terrorist attacks including the 2011 Mumbai bombings, 2012 Pune bombings and 2013 Hyderabad blasts.The Karnataka Police were probing the involvement of the group in the 2009 Mysuru communal violence and terror strike at Indian Institute of Science in Bangalore. The group is also accused of extorting money and many of its members are accused in the sensational Hunsur kidnap and double murder of students.In 2015, Siddaramaiah cabinet decided to withdraw criminal cases against 1,600 activists of Karnataka Forum for Dignity and Popular Front of India for rioting. The opposition BJP accused the Chief Minister of turning a blind eye to the acts of violence by KFD and PFI activists in Hassan, Shivamogga and Mysuru and blamed these organisations of being seeded by the ISI and Taliban. The government was asked to reconsider its decision and warned the withdrawal of cases would result in spurt of moral policing, communal activities and other violent anti-social activities in the state.

List of terrorist incidents in India

This is a list of terrorist incidents in India. In July 2016, the Government of India released data on a string of terror strikes in India since 2005 that claimed 707 lives and left over 3,200 injured.

Popular Front of India

The Popular Front of India is an extremist and militant Islamic fundamentalist organisation in India formed as a successor to National Development Front (NDF) in 2006. It acquired a multi-state dimension by merging with the National Development Front, Manitha Neethi Pasarai, Karnataka Forum for Dignity and other organisations. It is portrayed as a neo-social movement committed to empower people to ensure justice, freedom and security. The organisation has various wings to cater to different section of society, including the National Women's Front and the Campus Front of India.PFI works in cooperation with the National Confederation of Human Rights Organisations and other human rights activists in a bid to curb human rights violation in the nation. The organisation campaigns for the Muslim Reservation in line with the Mishra Commission (National Commission for Religious and Linguistic Minorities) report to address the inequality faced by Muslims. In 2012, the organisation conducted protests against the use of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act [UAPA] to detain innocent citizens. The Front formed a broad-based alliance of different minority and civil rights leaders and groups against growing authoritarian and communal tendencies where steps taken included a national movement against UAPA, the Sikh-Muslim mission for communal harmony, the joint platform that has commemorated anti-Sikh riot of 1984 and Babri Masjid demolition of 1992.Since its inception, the organisation has been accused of various antisocial and anti-national activities. The allegations include connections with various Islamic terrorist groups, possessing arms, kidnapping, murder, intimidation, hate campaigns, rioting, Love Jihad and various acts of religious extremism, the most infamous among them being the Assault on professor T. J. Joseph who had set a controversial question paper insulting the Prophet Muhammed. However, the charges were denied by the PFI, which stated that the accusations were baseless and fabricated to malign the organisation.In 2012, the Government of Kerala informed the High Court their opinion that the activities of the Popular Front are inimical to the safety of the country and that it is "nothing but a resurrection of the banned outfit Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) in another form", in its argument to ban the organisation's Indian Independence Day commemoration programme, the "Freedom Parade". The High Court dismissed the Government's stand, but upheld the ban imposed by the state Government. In July 2010, Kerala Police had unearthed country-made bombs, weapons and CDs and documents containing Taliban and Al-Queda propaganda from PFI activists. The raids conducted were termed undemocratic and unconstitutional by the leaders of PFI. As of 6 September 2010, as informed to the state high court by the Kerala government, no evidence has been found by the Police in its probe into the allegation of links to Hizbul Mujahideen, Lashkar-e Taiba (Let) or al-Qaeda. However, in April 2013 a series of raids by Kerala Police on PFI centres across North Kerala found lethal weapons, foreign currency, human shooting targets, Bombs, bomb making materials, gunpowder, swords etc. which police claim to reveal the "terror face" of the PFI.In 2015, the Madras High Court issued a notice to the Commissioner of Police based on the PIL charging police for having given misleading information to HC on the 'unity march, a variant of the 'Freedom Parade'. The HC directed to register a case against the CoP and the SP, and Rs 3.3million as compensation for 'loss of image, reputation and defamation.' The organisation provided counter arguments to the allegations positioned against it in its 2012 nationwide campaign "Why Popular Front".The organisation is also known for its anti-Imperialist & anti-Zionist stance, as seen in the pro-Palestine protests in various parts of the country in November 2012, and later in July 2014 with the nationwide solidarity campaigns christened "I am Gaza". The organisation is also known to support pro-democratic movements. In 2015, the Popular Front protested against the death sentence given to a democratically elected leader, Mohamed Morsi and his followers. The protest was in front of the Egyptian embassy in New Delhi

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