Rain hampers Indian effort to find bombers

On a day when the monsoon rain barely paused relatives of the injured and the dead gathered at hospitals

Police in Mumbai investigating the trio of bomb blasts that tore through the city on Wednesday were last night pinning their best hopes on CCTV footage recovered from the site of the explosion as they revealed heavy rains may have destroyed much forensic evidence.

As the Indian government sought to counter mounting public anger over the latest strike to hit the country's financial capital by insisting there had been no intelligence failure, anti-terrorism officers admitted they were no closer to identifying who was behind the attacks.

"All angles are very viewed," said Rukesh Maria, head of Maharashtra state's anti-terrorist squad. "All possibilities are being examined... The investigation is a long, drawn-out process."

As police said they continued to probe all options – with the Indian Mujuhideen, a home-grown terror network, said to be among those groups being looked at – officers said the devices that exploded were made of ammonium nitrate. One report said a body had been found with wires attached; police could not say whether a suicide bomber had been involved.

The authorities said the death toll stood at 18 and that more than 130 people had been injured, many of them seriously. On a day when the monsoon rain barely paused, relatives of the injured and dead gathered at hospitals across the city, anxiously seeking any news on survivors or waiting to take away a body for cremation or burial.

"A total of 26 people were brought here. Four of them were dead, 10 were grievously wounded," said Dr Satish Synone, a senior physician at Gokuldas Tejpal hospital.

"They were suffering from burns, abrasions, foreign bodies. We had to perform surgery."

India's Home Minister, Palaniappan Chidambaram, claimed the attacks had been an assault upon the country's "unity, integrity and prosperity".

He admitted the intelligence agencies had no prior information about the blasts and yet he insisted this did not equate with an intelligence failure. Somewhat confusingly he said: "There are elements that are hostile to India and they are behind the bomb blasts that have occurred over the past 10 years."

Such comments did not go down well in the three areas where the bombs exploded between 6.50pm-7.05pm on Wednesday. In the neighbourhood known as Opera House, where thousands of diamond dealers form what is said to be the largest gem bourse in Asia, Rajiv Popley had opened his family-owned jewellery store, more as an act of intent rather than in the realistic expectation of a customer.

Mr Popley said the diamond and gem industry was one of the biggest foreign currency earners for India, yet he said the authorities had failed to protect them. A number of diamond dealers are believed to have been among the dead and injured; one report suggested, a little fancifully, that dealers carrying their stones to the nearby vaults may have been struck by flying gems as well as shards of glass.

"There is a lot of anger," he said. "There are lapses of intelligence that are happening all the time in this city."

It is a cliché to talk about the spirit of the people of a city that has endured numerous attacks over the years. In truth, the people of Mumbai get tired of having to get over such incidents.

"We have that fear. We don't know what will happen any day," said Dr S M Choubey, a lecturer. "Everyone in Mumbai has to face all these things."

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Photographer / Floorplanner / Domestic Energy Assessor

£16000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Photographer/ Floor planner /...

Ashdown Group: Front-End Developer - Surrey - £40,000

£30000 - £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Front-End Developer - Guildford/Craw...

Recruitment Genius: Customer Service Assistant

£13500 - £15000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Customer Service Assistant is...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Executive - OTE £35,000

£16000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An ambitious and motivated Sale...

Day In a Page

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

How a costume drama became a Sunday night staple
Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers as he pushes Tories on housing

Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers

Labour leader pushes Tories on housing
Aviation history is littered with grand failures - from the the Bristol Brabazon to Concorde - but what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?

Aviation history is littered with grand failures

But what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?
Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of Soviet-style 'iron curtains' right across Europe

Fortress Europe?

Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of 'iron curtains'
Never mind what you're wearing, it's what you're reclining on

Never mind what you're wearing

It's what you're reclining on that matters
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence