Mar 08, 2006:
The terrorists strike again, this time targeting the holy city of Varanasi. On a busy Tuesday evening of 7 March 2006, devotees had gathered (more in number as it was a Tuesday) as usual for the evening aarti in the Sankatmochan Temple in Varanasi. At 6:15 pm a bomb blast inside the temple premises changed the scenario completely. The area was covered with human blood and flesh. The injured were rushed to the nearby hospitals. The blast resulted in panic and near stampede like situation. The bomb was kept in the pressure cooker cartoon. Minutes later, at the Varanasi Railway Station in the Cantonment Area another blast shook the city. It exploded on platform number 1 when the Delhi bound train Shivganga Express was stationary. A third bomb exploded on a running train at Lohata Railway Station at 8:30 pm, 25 km away from Varanasi. Four more bombs were recovered at Dashaswamedh Ghat, 2 km away from the Sankatmochan Temple. But they were diffused in time.
Initial investigations indicated that high density plastic bombs have been used in triggering the blast. Union Home secretary V K Duggal has said the modus operandi of the blasts were similar to the Delhi blasts. As safety measure, red alert has been sounded in Uttar Pradesh and in the various parts of the country. Meanwhile, the BJP and the BSP have called for a state-wide bandh. This is the second major terrorist strike in Uttar Pradesh in less than one year. Earlier, Jaish-e-Mohammed militants had attacked the makeshift Ram Temple in Ayodhya. The UP Chief Minister Mulayam Singh Yadav has announced an ex-gratia of Rs. 5 lakh, Rs.1 lakh and Rs. 50,000 to those killed, seriously injured and with minor injury respectively.
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