Israeli Diplomat’s car bombed in Delhi

A sketch of the bombing of an Israeli diplomat’s car patched together from tweets…

Israeli diplomat's car explodes near Embassy in New Delhi. Photo: Joji Philip Thomas @jojiphilip
Israeli Diplomat is flung from the car, seen here being helped by passersby

This morning one of my tweeps, Joji Philip Thomas @jojiphilip on Twitter, tweeted the two photos above saying that a car in front of him had just exploded. A newsman himself, Joji was on Aurangzeb Road, in the diplomatic enclave of New Delhi.”The car in front of me just exploded – a foreigner inside got flung to the other side of d road,” read his sensational sounding tweet.

The Israeli lady who was inside the car & was badly injured insisted that she be taken to the embassy,not hospital went another tweet. And shortly thereafter: hey, all u news channels who are using my photographs of the blast of the #Israeli diplomat’s come no credit for the photos???

Joji also noted that despite being badly injured, after having been flung from her car, the Israeli woman had the “presence of mind to give instructions to rescuers after the blast.”

Since then the Agence France-Presse has tried to buy the photos from Joji who himself works for The Economic Times of India.

In the meantime according to @yaakovkatz: Reports of explosions near Israeli embassies in India and Georgia. Come day after 4th anniversary of Hezbollah military chief assassination.

It’s now confirmed that a man on a motorbike rode up behind the Israeli Embassy vehicle and attached a small, sophisticated bomb to it. Acccording to @geevishnu A biker planted a sticky bomb on the rear of innova and fled the scene. The lady who survived is a diplomat. So is her husband.

Meanwhile the Israelis have announced that Iran is behind the bombings in Delhi and Georgia. According to newswoman @suhasinih: Car explosion: Israeli govt confirming 4 attacks planned : Delhi+Tblisi explosives;3 arrested in Baku, Threat foiled in Bangkok. 

Not everyone agrees. Tweeted the editor of Newsweek International Tunku Varadarajan known on Twitter as @tunkuv: My instinct: Iran can’t be behind Delhi bombing of Israelis. Why wd Iran sow terror in the one major US ally that is buying Iranian oil?”  Indian authorities have also said that it’s too early to determine who was behind the bombings.

According to the Washington Post the injured woman is the wife of Israel’s defense attache. Their article has a lot more details on the bombing in Delhi and the foiled attempt in Tbilisi where a grenade was found attached to the car used by the Israeli ambassador, Yitzhak Gerberg.

The Indian Mujahideen and the Commonwealth Games

A reaction to attack on tourists in Delhi on Sept 19,2010

As i sit here listening to samples of songs on the split personality riddim, one of the latest products from Kingston’s teeming studios, I’m actually battling a sense of dread. News has just come of an attack on tourists in India’s capital Delhi, two weeks ahead of the nineteenth staging of the Commonwealth Games there. The attack was accompanied by an email to the Indian media from a group calling itself the Indian Mujahideen. They want vengeance and are threatening retaliation for alleged atrocities in Kashmir. Congratulating India on its hosting of the CWG, the email goes on to say:

“Rejoice! We will now rightfully play Holi with your blood in your own cities. Scores of fidayeen are restless to drop the Evil ones into the hellfire… we Warn you to host the Commonwealth games if you have a grain of salt. We know that preparations for the games are at its peak; Beware!! We too are preparing in full swing for a Great Surprise! The participants will be solely responsible for the outcome, as our bands of Mujahideen love death more than you love life. In Kashmir you have succeeded in usurping our Right of self-determination with all your Chanakya policies.”

The language is accidentally poetic in places, occasionally striking a tragicomic note: Remember! As we bleed, so will you seep…

It’s hard not to weep. India presents a large, slow-moving target and is inadequately equipped to deal with the fallout from situations like the long-standing war over Kashmir. Just yesterday we (#JNSS) distributed “safety catalogues” to foreign tourists in Paharganj came a tweet from Delhi.

Only a short while ago India was faced with the prospect of shooting young 9 and 10 year old boys in Kashmir who were pelting stones at the army. Today the situation in Kashmir has escalated to the point where the nation is now being held hostage. Perhaps its time to let go? Incidentally  Arundhati Roy’s advocacy of independence for Kashmir (see video at the end of this post) was one of the issues that earned the person tweeting in her name the wrath of Indian tweeters.

A recent article What Are Kashmir’s Stone Pelters Saying to Us? (Economic and Political Weekly, VOL 45 No. 37 September 11 – September 17, 2010) summed up the problem well:

Like an obstinate nightmare, Kashmir has returned to haunt India’s political discourse, in this third consecutive summer of massive protests. For almost two months now we are witnessing the brazen  courage of Kashmiri youth, armed with stones in their hands, in groups of no more than a few hundred at a time, taking on Kashmir’s much vaunted “security grid”. This carefully welded network deploys at least 6,00,000 soldiers in uniform, and another 1,00,000 “civilian” intelligence and surveillance operatives. But pinned down by this summer’s showers of carefully aimed rocks, the grid has begun to appear clumsy and vulnerable.

As the sang-bazan, the stone-pelters, insolently stormed into prime time, they brought with them an intensity that made the newspaper pundits, and the usual chorus of television-studio experts, briefly wilt. Images of boys as young as nine and ten being dragged off into police vehicles, or shot dead by the paramilitary forces, have begun to dent conventional truisms about what is happening in Kashmir. Startling photographs of middle-aged (and middle class) women in the ranks of the stone-pelting protesters have also destabilised those who have hidden behind a morbid panic of the “Islamists”, or the fear of Pakistan’s venality, to obscure their understanding of events in the Valley. Although reluctant to grant this uprising the same political pedigree, at least some Indians seem to be curling their tongues around the word intifada. On the whole, the David and Goliath disproportion of the protests, and its sheer effrontery, has begun to capture the imagination of a growing number of people in India.  So beyond their furious defiance, what are Kashmir’s stone-pelters saying to us?

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