As the world was preparing to observe the 10th Anniversary of the terrorist attacks in the US (on September 9), terror revisited the Indian Capital on September 7.
According to initial reports, a powerful bomb, triggered by a sophisticated explosive device inside a briefcase, exploded near the crowded Delhi High Court at 1030 am.
The attack left at least 11 people dead and more than 50 injured.
The explosion came after the recent bomb attacks in Mumbai and the failed bomb explosion on May 25 inside the Delhi High Court.
Pakistan based Islamic terrorist organisation Harkat-ul-Jihadi claimed responsibility for the attack in an email sent to several media organisations.
“We owe the responsibility for today’s blasts at the Delhi High Court. We demand that Afzal Guru’s death sentence be repealed immediately. Otherwise, we will target the Supreme Court of India and other high courts,” the email said.
The Supreme Court sentenced Afzal Guru to death for his role in the attack on the Indian Parliament on December 13 2001. The Home Ministry repeatedly turned down his mercy petitions.
Home Minister Palaniappan Chidambaram said in a statement to Parliament that his ministry had handed over the case to the National Investigative Agency (NIA).
Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh called the attacks cowardly and said that India would not submit itself to terrorist threats.
Following the explosion, the security blanket has been spread around India’s capital and other towns.
The explosion is also understood to be a wakening for India to tighten its counter-terrorism operations which should include more effective intelligence gathering and assimilation. Inadequate basic security infrastructure such as surveillance cameras in important places is a concern.