INternational Journal of Criminal Justice Sciences

Vol 2 Issue 2 July - december 2007

Copyright © 2007 International Journal of Criminal Justice Sciences (IJCJS)   ISSN: 0973-5089 Vol 2 (2): 5–11

This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial-Share Alike License, which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. This license does not permit commercial exploitation or the creation of derivative works without specific permission.




India's 26/11: From Communal Violence to Communal Terrorism to Terrorism


K. Jaishankar


“They came, they saw,” and they attacked the sovereignty of India. The whole of India wreathed in pain, when a terrorist group[1] targeted, Mumbai, the financial capital of India. “It began at about 9 p.m. on November 26 and ended after a long and intense battle, at about 8.30 a.m. on November 29. In those 60 hours, in certainly the worst terrorist attack on India, a group of gunmen brought Mumbai to its knees. The bloody drama, which involved attacks in as many as 11 places in the city, left 183 people, including 22 foreigners, dead. It took a force of 477 National Security Guard (NSG) personnel, a unit of the marine commandos, six columns of the Army, and 400 members of the Mumbai Police to kill or conquer an estimated 10 men. Unconfirmed reports put the number of terrorists involved at 25” (Katakam, 2008, p.6).

This was not the first terrorist attack in Mumbai and it is only hoped that this should be the last. Mumbai has a historical past of violence and terrorist attacks. The following statistics shows the account of terrorist attacks in Mumbai:

  • 12 March 1993 - Series of 13 bombs go off killing 257

  • 06 December 2002 - Bomb goes off in a bus in Ghatkopar killing 2

  • 27 January 2003 - Bomb goes off on a bicycle in Vile Parle killing 1

  • 14 March 2003 - Bomb goes off in a train in Mulund killing 10

  • 28 July 2003 - Bomb goes off in a bus in Ghatkopar killing 4

  • 25 August 2003 - Two Bombs go off in cars near the Gateway of India and Zaveri Bazaar killing 50

  • 11 July 2006 - Series of seven bombs go off in trains killing 209

  • 26 November 2008 to 29 November 2008 - Coordinated series of attacks killing at least 172 (Terrorism in Mumbai, Wikipedia, 2008).

The above statistics would reveal an important underlying picture in the analysis of Terrorism in India. All the major terrorist attacks in India have occurred after 1992.[2] December 6, 1992, has become the date of importance, to mark the start of terrorism calendar in India. Violence in India is not new and communal violence is quite a common phenomenon in the pre and post independent India. However, demolition of Babri Masjid Mosque in Ayodhya, in North Central India, has started a new era in developing the terrorism map of India. “On December 6, 1992, a sixteenth-century mosque in Ayodhya, in the north Indian state of Uttar Pradesh was demolished. During the preceding months, a movement of political parties, religious groups, and cultural organizations, including the BJP, Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) and Shiva Sena, had called for the construction of a temple on the site of the mosque as an integral move in their struggle for Hindutva, or Hindu rule. Over 150,000 supporters known as kar sevaks (voluntary workers) converged on Ayodhya, where they attacked the three-domed mosque with hammers and pick-axes and reduced it to rubble” (Human Rights Watch, 1996, para 8). “The destruction touched off Hindu-Muslim rioting across the country that has killed thousands in the past few years. Within two weeks of the destruction of the mosque, 227 were killed in communal violence in Gujarat, 250 in Bombay (Maharashtra), 55 in Karnataka, 14 in Kerala, 42 in Delhi, 185 in Uttar Pradesh, 100 in Assam, 43 in Bihar, 100 in Madhya Pradesh, and 23 in Andhra Pradesh” (Week, 1992, p. 21).

“The Mumbai blasts of March 1993 were a sequel to demolition of the Babri Masjid. It was the first planned and proven terrorist attack by a group of Indian Muslims. The target of attacks was Mumbai stock exchange. More than 300 people were killed and hundreds injured. The country suffered huge financial losses” (Haque, 2000, para 6). It is interesting to note that the number of major communal riots in post-Babri Masjid demolition period went down considerably. Three major riots took place in this period, besides several small riots in which 2 to 6 persons were killed. These three major riots are Coimbatore in Tamil Nadu in 1997, Kanpur in U.P. in March 2001 and Malegaon in Maharashtra in October 2001 (Engineer, 2001). However the post-babri riots saw the growth of communal terrorism and the spread of Communal virus to the southern part of India in Tamil Nadu in 1997 by the way of Coimbatore communal riots. Violence replaced terrorism to kill innocent citizens.

If Babri masjid demolition is a landmark in the 1990’s for raising Islamic fundamentalism, it is Gujarat pogrom (2002), which is considered as genocide of Muslims, the main reason for the terrorist attacks in 2000’s. “The violence in Gujarat began after a Muslim mob in the town of Godhra attacked and set fire to two carriages of a train carrying Hindu activists. Fifty-eight people were killed, many of them women and children. The activists were returning from Ayodhya, Uttar Pradesh, where they supported a campaign led by the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (World Hindu Council, VHP) to construct a temple to the Hindu avatar Ram on the site of a sixteenth century mosque destroyed by Hindu militants in 1992” (Human Rights Watch, 2002, para 3). “Between February 28 and March 2, 2002, a three-day retaliatory killing spree by Hindus left hundreds dead and tens of thousands homeless and dispossessed, marking the country’s worst religious bloodletting in a decade. The looting and burning of Muslim homes, shops, restaurants, and places of worship was also widespread. Tragically consistent with the longstanding pattern of attacks on minorities in India, and with previous episodes of large-scale communal violence in India, scores of Muslim girls and women were brutally raped in Gujarat before being mutilated and burnt to death. According to the official records, since February 27, 2002, more than 850 people have been killed in communal violence in the state of Gujarat, most of them Muslims. Unofficial estimates put the death toll as high as 2,000” (Human Rights Watch, 2002, para 4).        

The following are the major terror attacks post Gujarat pogrom: (source: Breaking news online, 2008)

  • August 25, 2003 (Mumbai): 46 people killed in two blasts including one near the Gateway of India.

  • October 29, 2005 (New Delhi): 62 people killed in three serial blasts at Sarojini Nagar on the eve of Diwali.

  • March 7, 2006 (Varanasi): 21 people killed in three blasts at Sankat Mochan temple and Railway Station.

  • July 11, 2006 (Mumbai): 209 people killed in seven blasts on Suburban trains and stations in Mumbai.

  • September 8, 2006 (Malegaon, Maharashtra): 40 people killed in two blasts in Malegaon.

  • February 19, 2007 (Diwana, Panipat): 68 people killed after two bombs went off on the Samjhauta Express at Diwana near Panipat (Haryana).

  • May 18, 2007 (Hyderabad): 12 people killed in historic Mecca Mosque in the Charminar area.

  • Aug 25, 2007 (Hyderabad): 42 people killed in two blasts at Gokul Chat and Lumbini Park.

  • May 13, 2008 (Jaipur): 80 people killed in serial bomb blasts in Jaipur.

  • July 25, 2008 (Bangalore): One person killed in a low-intensity bomb explosion.

  • July 26, 2008 (Ahmedabad): 57 people killed after 18-odd synchronised bombs went off within less than two hours.

  • September 13, 2008 (New Delhi): 26 people killed in six serial bomb blasts at Karol Bagh, GK-II and Connaught Place.

  • September 27, 2008 (New Delhi): Three people killed after a crude bomb exploded in Mehrauli.

  • September 29 2008 (Modasa, Gujarat): One killed and several injured after a low-intensity bomb went off near a mosque.

  • September 29, 2008 (Malegaon, Maharashtra): Five people died after a bomb went off in a crowded market.

  • October 01, 2008 (Agartala, Tripura): Two people killed and 100 injured in serial bomb blasts in crowded market places in Agartala.

  • Oct 14, 2008 (Kanpur): Eight people injured after bomb planted on a rented bicycle went off in the Colonelganj market.

  • Oct 21, 2008 (Imphal, Manipur): 17 killed in a powerful blast near Manipur Police Commando complex.

  • Oct 30, 2008 (Assam): At least 50 killed in serial bomb blasts across Assam.

Of all the terror attacks post babri masjid demolition period, terrorist attacks on the Mumbai City had a wider transition. Mumbai Blasts in 1993 were based on "business objective”, 2003 terror attacks were done as retaliation to Gujarat genocide of Muslims by a new group called “Gujarat Revenge Group” which worked hand-in-hand with a banned militant student’s organization Students Islamic Movement in India (SIMI) (Paul, 2003). However, the 2008 attack on Mumbai is largely different from the earlier attacks. Infiltration of Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Taiba, is seen in a smaller scale in 2003 attacks, however, their fullest infiltration is seen in this 2008 attack and earlier they were attacking only Kashmir, but now every part of the country is vulnerable to their attacks. Almost every terror attacks were followed by Communal Violence which took lots of Innocent lives. Very significantly, this terror attack is not followed by any communal violence, as this is no more an internal conflict between Hindus and Muslims of this country but, an international issue, which has to be viewed in a larger spectrum.

Now many talk about Police reforms, security tightening, set up of Federal agency. Of course Indian police are ill equipped compared to the terrorists. The terrorists have used GPS mapping systems in this attacks and implementation of such technologies in Indian Policing are still in its rudimentary form. The intelligence systems have miserably failed and the coordination between the state policing and the central agencies were poor. Blaming the systems only when there is a crisis does no good. Equipping the systems with modern technologies, training the personnel frequently, and keeping the morale of the police will help to a certain extent. However, considering the enormity of the country, the vulnerable nature should be accepted and a sense of civic responsibility should be inculcated and people should elect scrupulous leaders who will save this country from evil forces such as Lashkar-e-Taiba.

In a Victimology Conference held at Bar Illan University, Israel, in 2007, in which I participated, a Professor spoke on Terrorism in Israel and other countries. I posed a rhetoric question to him “Post 9/11 attacks of United States, the world order has changed. Why the world order is not changing when hundreds of Indian and Israeli citizens are killed in terror attacks? What makes 9/11 Victimization unique?”  The Professor answered “9/11 attacks are highly dramatic and any victimization which is dramatic would penetrate the minds of the common masses”. Now here is a dramatic terror victimization which has made India to join the group of those elite nations which market terrorist victimization efficiently. But, whether the world order will change after these attacks? The answer would be a big ‘NO’, since now only India had joined the bandwagon of marketers of terrorist victimization.

However, I would not fully compare these attacks to 9/11, as this is unique and a starting point of putting India on the International terror map and any type of retaliation to the Mumbai Terror attack cannot be in the style of "War on Terror" of USA.  “9/11 has become symbolic of sudden, dramatic, and horrifying terrorist attacks. Mumbai was that. But 9/11 also represents the US government’s response to the attack by bombing Afghanistan and then Iraq. It also represents the curtailing of civil liberties and rights in the US to make the country more “secure”. It also represents Guantanamo Bay and the incarceration of people without trial for years” (Sharma, 2008, p.1.). Now only Pakistan has understood that they are also victims of terrorism and have come forward to save their people from terrorists. The first step in arresting 20 terrorists, including, Maulana Azhar, is a laudable step, and let us hope that issues between and within India and Pakistan will settle amicably, without any foreign interlocutor.


About the current issue of IJCJS

    The current issue contains five articles and a book review. The objective of the first article on Arts and Corrections is to explore the usefulness of art programs in achieving correctional goals.  Kornfeld (1997) argues that the value of art programs in corrections is multi-dimensional—they offer simultaneous opportunities for therapy, education, vocation, and recreation. Despite the need to explore alternative approaches to corrections, and the well-established functions of art programs, support for the arts in corrections (especially financial) has severely declined (Kornfeld 1997). Perhaps artistic activities in corrections are too often thought of as being merely recreational—a privilege to be earned with good behaviour, a non-essential amenity, a way for the incarcerated to just pass the time.  With this view, it may seem that art programs in corrections are dispensable. A well-made argument can be made to the contrary.  Plenty of evidence suggests that the arts perform an effective role in offender rehabilitation and improve the quality of life in correctional environments; it has been shown that art programs can be useful in prison, jail, and community correctional settings (Johnson, 2007, 2008).

The article on ‘Trafficking in Women and Children in India, is a Case Study of STCI with reference to Marathwada region of the State of Maharashtra. Human trafficking has been identified as third largest source of profit for organized crime booming international trade, making huge profits at the expose of the exploited victims. Trafficking clearly violates the fundamental right to a life of dignity. It also violates the right to health and health care, liberty and security of person, and the right to freedom from torture, violence, cruelty or degrading treatment. The present paper is a case study of Save the Children India’s (STCI) project titled; “Preventing Trafficking amongst Women and Children through Community Participation”, in four rural districts (Latur, Osmanabad, Beed and Nanded) of Marathwada region in Maharashtra. The paper discusses about Conceptualizing Trafficking, Migration and Trafficking, trafficking in Indian Context and why trafficking of women and children is more rampant in Context with Marathwada region in Maharashtra, Response of Save the Children India (STCI) to the Problem, Save Our Sisters (SOS), Rural Mission, Prevention Programme in Marathwada, the strategies adopted by them and their achievements.

The paper on ‘Race and Women in Crime’ paper talks about the involvement of women in criminal activities. Most scholars study the criminal behaviour of the general population, juveniles and men. Though the role of women in the criminal activities is comparatively low, there is a rise in the involvement of women in such cases. The ubiquitous finding is that racial minority population groups are more represented in the arrest statistics than the white population. This study aimed at resolving three main issues: first, to establish whether the reported overrepresentation of racial minority groups in the arrest statistics also pertains to female minorities in isolation of male arrests; secondly, to establish the trend of female arrests over the five year study period and to compare those trends between the racial minority groups and the White majority; and, thirdly, to find out the common crimes that account for most of the female arrests, disaggregated by race. The paper concludes with the summary and the conclusion to the issue.

The article on ‘Ethical Issues in Field-Based Criminological Research in Canada’ contributes to the void in the literature by exploring the ethical issues presented by field-based criminological research. In Canada, all research involving human subjects requires approval from a formal ethics review board before it can be conducted. Despite this, the body of literature relating to ethics in social science research is marginal, particularly in relation to research on crime and deviance. The issues examined include: eliciting sensitive information, coercive potentials, the consequences of knowing, conflicts of interest, and confidentiality and the possibility of subpoena. This paper argues that the current ethics review framework in Canada often acts in contradicting ways making it more difficult to conduct ethical criminological research. The paper discusses various ethical Issues in field-based Criminological Research in Canada, the Importance of Ethics, various Ethical issues, the Role of Canadian Research Ethics Boards (REBs) and conclusion.

The article on ‘Victimization of Children by the Journalists’ brings out the truth that how the Media in today’s world of the rush to create ‘Breaking News’ capitalize on the human-interest stories by victimising the children involved in the crime or news. The children get victimized in every stage of the media coverage. The paper discusses the Laws for reporting on children as a journalists covering crime have a challenging task of striking the right balance between the "public's right to know" and “responsibility of bringing the issue to light” versus "the individuals right to privacy”. This paper talks about the various faulty reporting practices like being insensitive during news-gathering, Indian context of such practices. The paper includes the Sample data sheet for content analysis, various case studies based on the topic and also pie diagrams showing the percentages of various aspects in the reporting that violates the law for reporting followed by the limitations of the study, the recommendations and conclusions. In a nutshell, the paper includes all the information that a reporter needs to know before reporting news involving the young people or children. This issue concludes with a book review by Eric T. Bellone. Eric has done a wonderful review on the book “Silence and Freedom”.  



Breaking news online (2008). List of Major Terror Attacks in India (2003 - 2008) Retrieved on 7th December 2008 from

Engineer, A.A. (2001). A brief survey of communal situation in the post babri-demolition period. Centre for Study of Society and Secularism

Haque M. M. (2000) Indian Muslims forced to extremism. The Milli Gazette, Vol.3 No.21, MG67 (1-15 Nov 02). Retrieved on 5th December 2008 from

Human rights watch (1996) INDIA: Communal Violence and the Denial of Justice. April 1996 Vol. 8, No. 2 (C) Retrieved on 5th December 2008 from

Human rights watch (2002) WE HAVE NO ORDERS TO SAVE YOU: State Participation and Complicity in Communal Violence in Gujarat. April 2002Vol. 14, No. 3(C) Retrieved on 5th December 2008 from

Johnson, L.M. (2007). Jail wall drawings and the role of artistic creativity in community reintegration. Justice Policy Journal, 4 (2).

—. (2008). A place for art in prison: Art as a tool for rehabilitation and management.” Southwest Journal of Criminal Justice, 5(2), 100-120. Retrieved on 4th November 2008 from

Katakam, A. (2008, December, 06-19). Cover Story: Terrorist Takeover. Frontline, 25(25), December 06-19, 2008.

Kornfeld, P. (1997). Cellblock visions: Prison art in America. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.

Lashkar-e-Toiba. (2008, December 6). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved on 6th December 2008 from

November 2008 Mumbai attacks. (2008, December 6). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved on 6th December 2008 from  

Terrorism in Mumbai. (2008, December 5). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved on 6th December 2008 from

The Week, (1992) Ayodhya: The Complete Story, The Week. December 26, 1992, pp. 22-45.



[1] Initially, a previously unknown organization called the Deccan Mujahideen claimed responsibility of this attack. Later, Ajmal, the single terrorist who was captured alive, disclosed that the attackers were members of the Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Taiba, an Islamic terrorist group, which received initial backing in the 1980s by the CIA and Pakistan's Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) in order to fight against the Soviet Union in Afghanistan (Source: Wikipedia).

[2] The terrorist attacks in Kashmir started in 1985, and that is already an international issue, which has been analyzed by many scholars, and will not be analyzed in this editorial, though, now, Kashmir issue has come to forefront, after the Mumbai terrorist attacks, 2008.

INternational Journal of Criminal Justice Sciences

Vol 2 Issue 2 July- December 2007

2008.Creative Commons BY-NC-SA International Journal of Criminal Justice Sciences unless otherwise noted.

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Web Journal created, published and maintained by Dr. K. Jaishankar Last updated 7/12/2008