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Santanu's Blog Page

Sunday, August 21, 2005

Bangla Blasts

A blog from Bangladesh would be absurd without a mention of the blasts that rocked the nation this week.

On the 17th of August, 400 bombs blasted almost simultaneously across Bangladesh, creating chaos, panic and bringing the entire country to a standstill. All the incidents happened between 11:00 and 11:30 am and covered every district and major town across the country. The locations were mostly government offices and courts. But when the casualty count was assessed, the reports were unbelievable. Only 2 fatalities and 50 injured! This makes one wonder why anyone would have taken the trouble to organize such a major terrorist act yet inflict minimal damage. When compared to other terrorist acts of far lesser magnitude, it seems clear that here the intent was markedly different. The intent was not to cause death among fellow countrymen, but to instil fear in the government. A fear of the immense organisational skill of the perpetrators. A signal that had they so desired, the nation would have witnessed as bloodbath. A showcase of absolute failure of state intelligence, catching the government in the wrong foot.

Of course, it is also possible that the persons behind the act had no access to firearms of greater magnitude. It is after all a rather poor nation. Also, even firecrackers are prohibited in this country. I may add here that compared to the US, personal possession of guns are almost impossible due to very strict rules in these parts of the world.

I read a few editorials yesterday in this regard. One feared that it is a signal to bigger networks about the existence of an efficient set-up that only needs financial support to deliver with deadly accuracy. Others wondered on similar unlikely themes. All agreed that the development is alarming. While political assassinations and businessman kidnappings are common here, nothing remotely close in scale to this has ever happened in this country.

Now that the West has finally woken up to the evils of terrorism after getting serious wounds themselves, they would perhaps take note of the spillage and spread of the breeding grounds and contemplate on means and methods of containment, if not correction. Of course, if, and only if, their political compulsions permit!

2 Comments:

  • I didn't know about the blast until my significant other mentioned it to me a few days ago and said "I wonder if your friend Santanu is ok". I was freaking out a bit and checked to see if you had blogged that day.

    I was very happy to know that you were ok. :)

    By Blogger Catherine Vocalist, at 21/8/05 19:26  

  • NYPC, Thank John Boy on my behalf for his concern. No worries, we were OK, except for some tense 30 minutes as we closely monitored Kitu's safe arrival from school. I was 40 kms away from town at site, when my wife rang up and informed about a blast. As I started collecting details from all sources to decide on the safest way to get the child home from her school (20 minutes drive from home), news started coming in about blasts from different places and I was beginning to get quite alarmed. Anyway, thanks to a neighbour who was already there to pick her child, Kitu was back safe!

    By Blogger Santanu, at 22/8/05 10:03  

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