At least 135 people were killed in seven explosions on crowded commuter trains and stations Tuesday evening in the Indian financial capital of Mumbai, police said. Officials said 250 to 300 people were injured in the blasts in the city’s western suburbs as commuters made their way home.
There was some confusion about the number of dead and injured as information was compiled from hospitals and explosion sites in Mumbai, the west Indian seaport previously called Bombay.
Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh called an emergency meeting of his ministers, saying “terrorists” were behind the attacks, according to The Associated Press.
One person was arrested in New Delhi in police raids after the explosions, reported CNN-IBN, CNN’s sister network, but there’s been no claim of responsibility for the attacks.
The Mumbai explosions follow swiftly on the heels of grenade attacks in Kashmir earlier today. Nevertheless, many local sources do not see the bombing in Mumbai as the product of Pakistani or Muslim terrorists. Instead, there is an undercurrent of discussion that the act is somehow connected to the outrage over the desecration of a statue of Meenatai Thackeray, the late wife of Shiv Sena Party founder Bal Thackeray — an event that has caused rioting by Hindu nationalists in Mumbai over the past two days. Shiv Sena’s response to the Mumbai bombings (from The Hindu):
Shiv Sena today demanded resignation of the Vilasrao Deshmukh-led DF government in Maharashtra for “its utter failure to maintain law and order in the state which is evident from inability to avert this evening’s serial blasts”.
“This government has no right to remain in power even for a moment. The government’s incompetence is solely responsible for today’s incident”, Sena executive president Uddhav Thackeray said.
“When the spontaneous reaction was there to desecration of late Meenatai Thackeray bust, the government blamed it on Shiv Sainiks. It should now tell us who is resonsible for today’s incident”, he said.