The day in 2005 when 3 blasts shattered Delhi’s peace

New Delhi, Feb 16 (IANS) It was a busy Saturday evening in Delhi, just two days before Diwali, when three blasts shattered the peace of the national capital on October 29, 2005, claiming the lives of 67 and leaving over 210 people injured.

The serial explosions that rocked Delhi were the biggest terrorist strike in India, outside Kashmir, since the Bombay (now Mumbai) blasts of 1993.

The scenes at the blast sites were horrific with dead bodies, blood and destruction all around.

The first blast took place at Paharganj in Central Delhi, near the New Delhi Railway Station at around 5.38 p.m., ripping apart shop fronts and killing 17 people.

According to Delhi Police, the bomb was planted on a two-wheeler parked outside a chemist’s shop that also left around 40 injured.

The second blast took place in a bus in south Delhi’s Govindpuri area at 6 p.m., injuring 13 passengers. According to police, the bomb was noticed by a passenger, with whom the conductor had a heated argument over buying ticket.

The 70 passengers travelling in the Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) Outer Mudrika bus were asked by the conductor and the driver to disembark.

The conductor tried to throw the bag out when the bomb inside exploded. The driver and conductor were among the 13 people injured.

The biggest explosion took place in south Delhi’s Sarojini Nagar market at 6.05 p.m., just five minutes after the second blast that caused the maximum damage. At least 50 people were killed in the busy market.

According to police, the explosive device was placed in a Maruti van near a chat vendor using a gas cylinder. The blast triggered secondary explosions in two cylinders of the chat vendor, starting a blaze.

The impact of the blasts was so strong that bodies of several people could not be recovered.

As news of the blasts spread, other markets in Delhi soon began to empty out.

Grief and shock spread across the city. Many people rushed to hospitals searching for their near and dear ones.

Relatives waited in hope and fear outside the emergency rooms of three city hospitals — All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital and Lady Hardinge Hospital, where the injured were rushed.

In Sarojini Nagar, the identity of five victims had to be established with DNA test while seven others still remain unidentified.