Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Hindu temple attacked on Janmashtami

Janmashtmi is the birthday of Lord Krishna. A Krishna temple has been attacked on Janmashtami in Christian-majority Manipur killing at least five Hindu devotees and severely injuring at least 50 more.

It is unlikely that the Manipur's ruling "Secular" Progressive Front's Congress Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh or anybody in his "secular" Manipur Government will take this seriously. "Secular" means "anti-Hindu" in India. Only Christians converted from Hinduism are protected in Manipur. Hindu lives do not matter.

Our "secular" politicians continually talk about about safeguarding Muslim and Christian interests in India they are a "minority". Well, Hindus are a minority in Christian-majority Manipur. Shouldn't Hindu lives matter there then ?

Hindustan Times reports:

5 dead, 50 injured in Imphal ISKCON temple blast

Press trust of India

Imphal, August 16, 2006

At least five persons were killed and 50 others, including five American and three French nationals, injured when a powerful bomb exploded in the complex of International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) on Wednesday evening when the shrine was teeming with Janmasthami devotees.

The toll might go up because some of those who suffered injuries were in critical condition, sources in the Regional Institute of Medical Science and Hospital said.

A 10-year-old boy and a 70-year-old woman were among the dead, the sources said. Hospital sources said three French and five American nationals were among those who sustained splinter injuries in the blast which took place at around 7pm. Earlier reports had spoken about injury to only one foreigner.

Several important persons, including chief priest of the ISKCON'S Damodar Das, were among those who were hit by splinters of the bomb which was reportedly hurled at the Tulihal airport area in Imphal West district of Manipur by some unidentified persons.

Reports said that today being the birthday of Lord Krishna, there was a huge gathering of people at the ISKCON complex, about five KM south of here.

No individual or organisation has claimed responsibility for the explosions, official sources said. Manipur Chief Minister O Ibobi Singh visited the hospital and strongly condemned the incident.

Official sources said invesitigation would be ordered to find out how insurgents or militants infiltrated the state capital complex where heavy security deployment was there.

The spot where the bomb exploded falls under high security zone in the state capital, sources said adding the area was also under the surveillance of security forces.



Telegraph India reports:

Terror strikes Iskcon temple
- Child among 4 dead in Imphal explosion
OUR CORRESPONDENT

Imphal, Aug. 16: A celebration of birth became an occasion for mourning when militants hurled a grenade at the Iskcon temple here in the midst of a Ras Lila performance to commemorate Janmashtami, killing four persons and leaving over 30 injured.

Police said a hand grenade of Chinese make landed on the precincts of the temple, located near Imphal airport, and exploded around 7.30 pm. The place was teeming with devotees, including foreigners, enjoying the Ras Lila performance when terror struck.

A middle-aged man, Nir Kumar Singh, died on the spot and two more victims — eight-year-old Anil Singh and a septuagenarian identified as K. Binod Kumar Singh — succumbed to injuries in hospital. The fourth person, aged around 40, had not been identified till late tonight.

Maharaja Damodar, head of the Iskcon Society of Manipur, suffered minor injuries and was discharged from the Regional Institute of Medical Sciences (RIMS) after first aid.

Two Americans, 50-year-old Lakshmi Pyari and 56-year-old Braynas (his surname is not known), are in the list of injured. The duo arrived in Imphal from Calcutta yesterday specifically to attend the Janmashtami function, an Iskcon official said.

A RIMS doctor described Braynas’s condition as “very critical”.

An Iskcon official said the bomb was lobbed from outside the temple campus. “There was chaos after the blast. People started running helter-skelter and there was little we do about it,” he said.

Police reinforcements were rushed to the site immediately after the explosion and a combing operation launched in the area to apprehend the militants who hurled the grenade.

One of the witnesses, 36-year-old Jamuna Devi, said she and her husband were watching the Ras Lila performance with some family friends when they heard a deafening sound and saw people falling down in a heap. She said some of her friends went missing after the blast.

Nearly 8,000 people were present on the temple campus at the time of the blast, Iskcon officials added.

One woman present during the incident said she heard a loud sound, which triggered a stampede. Many of the devotees were injured in the subsequent stampede, she added.

“Initially, I thought that a tyre had burst. But suddenly I saw some profusely-bleeding people being carried away. Then I realised that it must have been a bomb blast,” she said.

She was still in a state of shock and disbelief that such a thing could happen at a religious congregation.

Chief minister Okram Ibobi Singh visited the injured in the hospital. He condemned the attack and said his government would make every effort to nab the culprits and bring them to book.

The chief minister ruled out a security lapse, arguing that religious congregations had never been the target of attacks in the past. Neither Ibobi Singh nor the police hinted at the involvement of any militant group.



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