September 30, 2008: Multiple bombs detonated in western India

On September 30 , 2008 three bombs exploded in the western Indian states of Gujarat and Maharashtra, killing ten and wounding 80

GUJARAT AND MAHARASHRA STATES, INDIA – Sometimes despite police investigations and strong suspicions the perpetrators of terrorist attacks are never 100% identified.

My wife and I are big mystery fans. We watch a number of series on Britbox and Acorn, all involving detectives and sleuths trying to solve enigmatic problems. And of course they ALWAYS get the bad guys by the end of the show (usually between 60 and 90 minutes).

The real world is alas very different.

When it comes to terrorism many attacks are reducible (literally in the case of suicide bombers!) to one or two actors. Others are no so easy to figure out, especially when it is a case of bombs planted and detonated remotely.

Take today’s featured incident.

On this day in 2008

Three bombs exploded in the western Indian states of Gujarat and Maharashtra, killing ten and wounding 80. The devices had been placed near a hotel and a mosque.

Police suspicion immediately focused on Hindu extremists, in part because similar attacks had occurred in Delhi three days previously. A month later three were arrested and the link to possible Hindu groups became stronger. One person in particular, a woman named Pragnya Singh Chandrapal Singh, was an activist in the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), a right-wing all India student organisation affiliated to the Hindu nationalist Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS – see my fifth book When Religions Kill for much more on this bunch.

Our primary investigation shows that two guys had kept a bag on a parked motorcycle which exploded.

Police official

In the end, many of the charges were dropped on account of lack of evidence. In the real world, Mr. Poirot, the police do not always ‘get their man’ (or woman).

Read More Today in Terrorism

By Phil Gurski

Phil Gurski is the President and CEO of Borealis Threat and Risk Consulting Ltd. Phil is a 32-year veteran of CSE and CSIS and the author of six books on terrorism.

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