Sumantra Maitra - in Mumbai
Reports are there of a fourth bomb which failed to detonate. The bombs, which were in a tiffin box, a car, and a cycle, were of unknown intensity, but powerful enough to rock buildings and shatter window panes nearby.
As of now, 21 people are suspected dead, with more than 130 injured. The home ministry confirmed it was a terrorist attack. For the past few weeks America's CIA told the Indian secret service RAW, of Islamic jihadi activity and warned of a possible bomb plot. But the nonchalant central government was as usual complacent and stoic.
The places targetted were Dadar, the busiest local train station of central Mumbai, Zaveri Bazaar, a shopping district in South Mumbai, and Opera House, also in South Mumbai. The plan bore the signature of jihadi planning, intended for maximum destruction and loss of life.
The National Investigative Agency was called on to probe the attack, along with forensic teams from New Delhi. National Security Guards have also been called in, to assist the Mumbai Anti-Terrorism Squad. India's other big cities, the capital New Delhi and Kolkata are on high alert.
The attacks comes at a crucial time of worsening relations between Pakistan and the rest of the world and the withdrawal of British and US troops from Afghanistan, which they invaded.
Also there are unconfirmed reports that this awful attack was planned to be on the birthday of Ajmal Kasab, the sole surviving Pakistani terrorist of the 26/11 Mumbai coordinated bombings.