A string of blasts tore through the southern Indian city of Hyderabad Aug. 25, killing at least 38 people and injuring 60. Three bombs exploded in a packed auditorium where a laser show was under way at Lumbini Park, an amusement park filled with weekend crowds. Minutes later, two other bombs ripped through a Gokul Chat restaurant, a popular eatery also filled with a Saturday night crowd. Indian President Pratibha Patil said the attacks were aimed at disturbing harmony in the city which has a mixed Muslim and Hindu population. (AFP, Aug. 25; IANS, BBC, Aug. 26)
In New York, a statement issued by prominent Indian-American Muslim leaders condemned the attacks: “The leaders of the Indian diaspora in the US expressed their heartfelt condolences to the families of the victims. They demanded a thorough and transparent investigation from the Indian national and the state governments and apprehension of those who were involved in the bombings. They appealed to the Indians of all faiths to stay united and foil the evil designs of the perpetrators of bombings who wish to polarize the city and country. They announced that as always they will be joining hands with leaders of other religious communities, leftist groups, human rights organizations and other members of broad-based Indian American coalitions to show their solidarity with their Indian counterparts and to protect the pluralist ethos of India.”
The signatories include Dr. Shaik Ubaid, Indian American Coalition for Pluralism; Manzoor Ghori, chairman, Indian Muslim Relief and Charities; Dr. Shakhir Mukhi, president, American Federation of Muslims of Indian Origin; and Saeed Patel, national coordinator, NRIs for a Secular and Harmonious India.
Indian Muslim Council-USA also condemned the blasts. In a statement, the group’s president Rasheed Ahmed said: “Violence serves no cause, no religion and no community. Such barbaric acts only serve the agenda of anti-socials, fascists and extremists.” He further added that “at times like these, the foremost need is to attend to the victims while urging the government to intensify efforts to identify the real perpetrators. It is a travesty of justice, that time and again such barbaric acts get politicized and in the process innocent people get victimized, while the real perpetrators of such terrorist activities stay at large.” (Khabrein.info, Aug. 25)