Terror strikes UP courts: 15 killed
Terror struck Uttar Pradesh on Friday when terrorists triggered near-simultaneous blasts in court premises in Varanasi, Faizabad and Lucknow killing 15 people, four of them lawyers, and injuring over 80.
Six bombs -- three in Varansi, two in Faizabad and one in Lucknow -- some planted on cycles, went off within a span of 15 minutes in the crowded court complexes between 1310 hours and 1325 hours.
Ammonium Nitrate and timer devices were used in triggering the blasts in Lucknow and Varanasi.
23 terror modules operate in Uttar Pradesh
Uttar Pradesh had its worst brush with terror on Friday when blasts ripped through three cities in the state.It was a revenge, claims Indian Mujahideen
While this attack remains UP's worst incident, the fact remains that the state has increasingly becoming a hot bed for terrorist outfits since 2001.
Intelligence Bureau reports point out that there are 23 terror cells operating in Uttar Pradesh.
The first time a major terror operation was busted in Uttar Pradesh was in 2001 when the police foiled a major bid to attack the disputed makeshift temple at the Ram Janmabhoomi site and killed three terrorists. The Intelligence Bureau says there are 130 terror modules including sleeper cells that operate across the country, most of which are in Uttar Pradesh.
Reports suggest terrorists favour UP for two reasons. Varanasi and Ayodhya are hot on the terror list because any attack in these places could cause communal violence across the country.
A terrorist organisation 'Indian Mujahideen' on Friday claimed responsibility for the serial bomb blasts in Uttar Pradesh, where at least 13 people were killed in Varanasi, Faizabad and Lucknow. Earlier, intelligence officers said Harkat-ul-Mujahideen had claimed responsibility.UP blasts a terror attack; Harkat owns up
The e-mail from firstname.lastname@example.org address received by a private TV channel claimed that the blasts were targeted against lawyers as they had thrashed terrorists and refused to take their cases.
The e-mail, whose authenticity was doubtful, was received by the channel just a few minutes before the blasts.
It said that "'Islamic raids" would be conducted against lawyers within few minutes because the police apprehended "two innocent groups and framed them with fake charges".
It claimed that the lawyers in these places "beat up innocent group members and refused to take their cases and also not allowed others to take up their cases".
The mail was apparently referring to busting of a JeM module by the Uttar Pradesh police last week following an encounter with the Special Task Force.
Lawyers had thrashed the three terrorists--Mohammad Abid, Yousuf and Mirza Rasheed Beg--when they were produced before the court and had refused to take up their cases.
The mail threatened to make police their next target. It cited Babri demolition, Mumbai riots and post-Godhra carnage in Gujarat as the reasons for launching "jihad" and claimed that the group had no connection with any neigbouring country, ISI, LeT or Huji.
Sources said the blasts were serial in nature, and only terrorist outfits have the expertise to carry out a coordinated attack.
The courts were hearing the Ram Janmabhoomi case and though this attack, the terrorists could have tried to send a strong message to the judiciary. Incidentally, this is the first time that the judiciary in the country has been targeted.
The sources said even the Intelligence Bureau did not have any information about a possible attack on the judiciary.