Indian police are looking into “every possible hostile group” in their search for the culprits behind the triple bombing in the heart of Mumbai that killed 17 people and wounded 131 others, the country’s top security official said Thursday.
The attacks, which authorities said came without warning, were the worst terror strike in the country since the siege of Mumbai that killed 166 people 31 months ago, and government officials were struggling to reassure Indians over their safety.
…No one has claimed responsibility for Wednesday’s bombings, which shook three separate neighborhoods within minutes of each other during the busy evening rush hour. The attack came just months after peace talks resumed between India and Pakistan. Indian officials have so far refused to speculate who might be behind the blasts.
“We are not pointing a finger at this stage,” Chidambaram said. “We have to look at every possible hostile group and find out whether they are behind the blast.”
Three coordinated bombings tore through the heart of India’s busy financial capital during rush hour Wednesday, killing 21 people in the worst terror attack in the country since the 2008 Mumbai siege. The attacks came just months after peace talks resumed between India and Pakistan, which New Delhi has blamed for past attacks.
Blood-covered bodies lay on Mumbai streets and people hugged and wept. Others carried the wounded to taxis. Crowds gathered in the blast areas as police questioned witnesses, and bomb squads inspected the undercarriages of vehicles searching for clues and other explosives.
Motorcycles were charred, shopfronts shattered and a bus stop ripped apart. Bleeding victims crowded into the back of a cargo truck to be taken to a hospital.
After gendercide, now they are changing sex on infant girls, because “boys are much more valued”:
The Indian episcopal conference has “strongly condemned” sex-change operations performed on infant girls at the request of their parents. In Indore–a city of 1.5 million in the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh–some 300 girls under the age of one have reportedly been victims of the operation.
“We have strongly condemned, as Indian bishops, this horrible practice,” said Father Charles Irudayam, an official of the Episcopal Conference of India. “It is the result of a mindset that favors [the] male as a source of profit and as a son of greater value, mortifying the dignity of women.”
Mara Hvistendahl is worried about girls. Not in any political, moral or cultural sense but as an existential matter. She is right to be. In China, India and numerous other countries (both developing and developed), there are many more men than women, the result of systematic campaigns against baby girls. In “Unnatural Selection,” Ms. Hvistendahl reports on this gender imbalance: what it is, how it came to be and what it means for the future.
In nature, 105 boys are born for every 100 girls. This ratio is biologically ironclad. Between 104 and 106 is the normal range, and that’s as far as the natural window goes. Any other number is the result of unnatural events.
Yet today in India there are 112 boys born for every 100 girls. In China, the number is 121—though plenty of Chinese towns are over the 150 mark. China’s and India’s populations are mammoth enough that their outlying sex ratios have skewed the global average to a biologically impossible 107. But the imbalance is not only in Asia. Azerbaijan stands at 115, Georgia at 118 and Armenia at 120.
What is causing the skewed ratio: abortion. If the male number in the sex ratio is above 106, it means that couples are having abortions when they find out the mother is carrying a girl. By Ms. Hvistendahl’s counting, there have been so many sex-selective abortions in the past three decades that 163 million girls, who by biological averages should have been born, are missing from the world. Moral horror aside, this is likely to be of very large consequence.
Widespread violence, lack of health care and poverty make Afghanistan the worse country in the world for women, this according to a study by the Thomson-Reuters Foundation. However, AsiaNews sources do not share such a negative view.
The study, based on interviews with 213 experts from around the world, indicates that Afghanistan tops a list of five worst nations, ahead of the Democratic Republic of Congo, Pakistan, India and Somalia. The inclusion of India has raised eyebrows given its great economic development; however, widespread female foeticide and the nation’s sex trade explain its low ranking.
The survey was compiled to mark the launch of a website, TrustLawWoman, aimed at providing free legal advice to women’s groups.
High maternal mortality rates, limited access to doctors and a “near total lack of economic rights” render Afghanistan such a threat to its female inhabitants. “Continuing conflict, NATO air strikes and cultural practices combine to make Afghanistan a very dangerous place for women,” Antonella Notari, head of Women Change Makers, said.
'Whenever I saw him, I hid. I hated to see him': Tahani (in pink) was just six years old when she she married Majed, 25 (standing next to her). The young wife posed for this portrait with former classmate Ghada, also a child bride, outside their mountain home in Hajjah, Yemen
The 2010 Report on Religious Freedom in the World by Aid to the Church in Need (ACN) was released yesterday in Rome. It shows that the situation is serious in many parts of the world, particularly in Asia. In the Near East, Iraq represents an especially bad case where anti-Christian violence is taking on the form of systematic persecution, as the latest episodes indicate. In Egypt, despite the fact that it is a major tourist destination, there have been many acts of violence against the Christian minority in 2009-2010. Lebanon shows how difficult it is for foreign religious staff to enter the country. The situation of Christians in Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip is getting worse with episodes of explicit persecution.
In India, ethnic and religious violence is rising as well. The year 2009 clearly illustrated the problem. However, China is certainly among those nations where religious freedom is denied in all its facets. However, information about what happens in that nation remains limited and hard to obtain. The state is officially atheist and suppresses all form of religion through arrests and detention in concentration camps. The case of Mgr Julius Jia Zhiguo is one of the better known. The underground bishop of Zhengding (Hebei) was arrested by five police officers on 30 March 2009; he was eventually released 15 months later.
In Pakistan, the blasphemy law is used as weapon against religious minorities, especially Christians who are the victims of Muslim fundamentalism. In Afghanistan, the government is not able to ensure effective religious freedom. In Bangladesh, where Islam is also the state religion, several cases of discrimination and attacks against minorities have been recorded with security forces showing little interest in protecting them.