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Date: Mar 9, 2006 11:29 PM
Subject: HINDU AMERICANS DISTRESSED BY SERIAL BOMB BLASTS IN HOLY CITY OF VARANASI
Hindu Americans Distressed by Serial Bomb Blasts in Holy City of Varanasi
TAMPA, Fl (Mar. 9, 2006) – A series of explosions on Tuesday in the holy city of Varanasi, India claimed the lives of at least 21 people and injured over 62. Two of the bombs were placed in the city's main railway station while another bomb targeted worshippers at the famous Sankat Mochan temple. Officials believe the attackers specifically triggered the bomb at the temple on an auspicious day of the week during evening services to inflict the greatest casualties on Hindu devotees.
Intelligence officials currently suspect that the notorious Pakistan-based Islamist outfit Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) was behind the attacks. The same group has been accused of masterminding dozens of major terrorist attacks in India over the past 16 years including three in the past year alone. In December 2005, gunmen stormed the campus of the Indian Institute of Science in Bangalore killing and seriously injuring several professors and researchers. Last October, on the eve of the Hindu festival of Diwali/Deepavali, bomb blasts in a populated market killed 61 in the nation's capital New Delhi. In July 2005, LeT militants opened fire on worshippers and security forces at the Ram Janmabhoomi complex in the holy city of Ayodhya.
Sheetal Shah , member of the Hindu American Foundation Executive Council said, "The continued attacks on worshippers at some of the most sacred Hindu sites reflect a lapse in the Indian government's duty to adequately protect its citizens and a failure of the government of Pakistan to reign in Islamic militancy."
The Hindu American Foundation asks for Hindus to remain calm, and demands a calibrated response from the state and central governments to these dastardly attacks. For too long, attacks on Hindu sacred places and on Hindus have either led to knee-jerk violent responses by some Hindu groups and/or an apathetic and band-aid response by the ruling governments. It is time to make everyone feel secure and safe in India.
The Hindu American Foundation is a non-profit 501(c)(3), non-partisan organization, promoting the Hindu and American ideals of understanding, tolerance and pluralism.