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News ->Terrorist attacks in Mumbai

(11 July 2006)

Train blast in MumbaiSeven simultaneous bombs devastated the Mumbai city rush hour as more than 170 people were killed in an organised terrorist today (11 July 2006). The blasts which occurred over eleven minutes in various train stations across the city have also left hundreds of people injured and has crippled the transport system in the city. There has been speculation in the Indian media that Islamic militants from Kashmir were behind the blasts, which followed closely on the heels of the killings of seven Hindus in the Kashmir valley last week, however, Kashmiri separatists have denied responsibility for the blasts.

"Terrorism in all its form must be strongly condemned in any part of the world. The international communities need to take these blasts as seriously as the London blasts last year," said Ramesh Kallidai, secretary general of the Hindu Forum of Britain. "India has borne the brunt of religious terrorism for the last fifty years, although the West has only woken up to this blot on human society recently. We appeal to the UK Government and other countries in the West to rally behind India in its fight against terror."


On Tuesday 12th July, Sadiq Khan, Labour MP for Tooting tabled an early day motion in the House of Commons which in unequivocal terms condemns the terrorist outrages experienced in India yesterday.

The EDM states 'That this House condemns the terrorist strikes of 11th July 2006 in Srinagar and Mumbai, India that have taken the lives of 190 people and injured a further 800; notes that the spirit and resilience of India will not be broken by such acts of murderous brutality; offers its condolences to the families of those slain and injured in the commercial capital of the world's largest secular democracy; pledges its support and assistance to defeat terrorism in all its forms.'

Mr Khan, speaking on behalf of Labour Friends of India said, 'Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of the bereaved and injured in Mumbai and Srinagar.'

He added 'There can be no justification for such mindless violence; we reaffirm our commitment to stand shoulder to shoulder with India in the common goal to root out the menace of terrorism.'

Mr Khan visited India in April 2006 with a delegation of Labour MPs to study the tremendous strides India is taking to become a leading force in a globalised world. He visited Delhi and Kolkata and met with the Home Secretary and Foreign Secretary to discuss counter-terrorism amongst many other subjects.

Stephen Pound MP, Chairman of Labour Friends of India committed the influential parliamentary group to enquiring what measures have been taken by the Government in assisting the Government of India in dealing with terrorist attacks of this type since 9/11. He commented 'Terrorism knows no boundaries, for this reason, we have to encourage governments to work together for the safety of ordinary citizens.'

He added, 'The resilience that Londoner's showed on 7/7 has been magnified by the grit and determination shown by Mumbaikars in the face of such adverse conditions. Today, we learn that people have returned to work in full strength, trains are running, blood banks are full, attendance at schools is close to 100%. The city has simply dusted itself off and moved on with greater vigour. Through their actions, India has sent a strong signal saying that it will not allow disruptions like this.'


The Hindu Forum of Britain is to hold a multi-faith memorial service to remember the victims of the Mumbai bombings on Friday 14 July at 7.30 pm at the Bhaktivedanta Manor Temple in Watford. Representatives of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, the Indian High Commission and faith leaders will light seven lamps dedicated to the victims at each of the locations of the blast, after which hundreds of participants will light candles in memory of the victims. The guests will later read out a joint-prayer for world peace.

The event will be hosted by ISKCON Bhaktivedanta Manor Temple, at Bhaktivedanta Manor, Dharam Marg, Off Hilfield Lane, Aldenham, Watford, WD25 8EZ

Ramesh Kallidai, secretary-general of the Hindu Forum of Britain, said: “There has been shock, horror and worry among Hindus, especially those who have friends and relatives in Mumbai. The wider community can relate to what happened yesterday as we have just observed the first anniversary of the London bombings.

“This special service, in a small way, aims to collectively demonstrate that Hindus and other faiths will not be deterred by the actions of the terrorists. It will offer the people from the UK an opportunity to remember the victims of this awful tragedy.”


The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC), also issued a statement offering support to India. The statement read "The WTTC is appalled and saddened by the bomb attacks which occurred on Tuesday in Mumbai, India. The Council and its Members offer their most sincere condolences to those affected by this horrific attack."

Jean-Claude Baumgarten, WTTC President said: “This is yet another example of terrorist groups’ attempts to undermine confidence and cause widespread destruction and chaos, in what has become a global conflict.”

In a letter to the Minister of Tourism, WTTC commended the Indian security authorities on their speedy response to the attacks and the Council has offered its full support to the Indian Ministry of Tourism to ensure that the country’s Travel & Tourism is able to continue to grow and that those livelihoods which depend on the industry are sustained.

Baumgarten added: “Travel & Tourism is one of India’s largest economies, accounting for 2.1 per cent of total GDP and creating over 24 million jobs. Although the short-term impact of these attacks on tourism in India may be significant, the long-term outlook remains positive.”

In light of recent attacks around the world, it is clear that destinations affected by such attacks, the Travel & Tourism industry on which their economies are based and tourists themselves, are becoming increasingly resilient and the Council urges the international community to continue to travel.


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