M A I N   N E W S

Mumbai bounces back 
* Commuters crowd trains
* Toll touches 190
* Lashkar hand in blasts
Shiv Kumar
Tribune News Service

Mumbai, July 12
The day after seven serial bomb blasts on Mumbai's local trains Tuesday claimed 190 lives, the city bounced back with life returning to near normal.
On the job immediately after the blasts, railway employees restored overhead power transmission equipment so that trains on the Western Railway line could resume by midnight last night.

WR officials said most of the trains between Churchgate and Borivli were running as per schedule though a few services were cancelled today. However only skeleton services between Borivli and Virar were possible till late this afternoon.

With reports of near normal train services coming through the night, most Mumbaiites chose to return to work despite having had to stay out late on Tuesday. "Trains were crowded like before and everyone in our office showed up on time," Alison Fernandes, a secretary in a South Mumbai firm, said. Typically, most people left home early so as not to get caught in traffic jams in order to arrive at work on time.

The city's dabbawallas who supply tiffin to offices across the city were on the roads on schedule collecting lunch boxes from homes. At the Borivli station where at least 25 deaths were reported, Platform No. 4 was all washed clean with the dabbawallas stacking tiffin boxes for onward delivery.

Railway officials however said that long distance trains originating from Mumbai have been rescheduled due to trains piling up all along the route yesterday.

Attendance in schools and colleges was normal with the state government notifying that all educational institutions would remain open today.

The stock markets bounced back a whopping 315 points with buying reported from all classes of investors.

Investigators are almost certain that the synchronized blasts were carried out by the cadres of the banned Lashkar-e-Toiba and the Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI). The Anti-Terrorist Squad of the Mumbai police see the involvement of the two terror groups after initial investigations indicated the use of RDX in the blasts.

The packages containing the explosives may have been loaded between Churchgate and Bombay Central railway stations. Unlike in the London train bombings, the Mumbai bombers are believed to have gotten off the trains before the explosive devices went off.

Earlier crackdowns on LeT's modules in Malegaon and Aurangabad in Maharashtra have unearthed more than 43 kg of RDX from the terrorists. Police officials feel that several quantities of RDX could still be floating around in Mumbai waiting to be used in terror operations.

According to ATS officials here, LeT like every other professional terror groups, operates on the basis of several cells operating independent of each other. With only a handful of leaders in the organisation aware of the different cells operating at one time, a great deal of secrecy can be maintained, say the officials. Even if a few cells are exposed, those still active may continue to plan terror operations.

Samajwadi Party leader from Mumbai Abu Azmi is under surveillance following Tuesday's blasts. Azmi is accused of instigating members of the minority community in the town of Bhiwandi last week which resulted in two policemen being brutally hacked to death.




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