India investigates Delhi High Court blast amid public frustration over security gaps
As the investigation into the Delhi High Court blasts begins, the fact that India's track record of terror attacks has not led to substantial changes in security deepens skepticism that this time will be different, locals say.
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The Pakistan and Bangladesh-based militant group Harkat-ul-Jihad-al-Islami (HUJI), which has ties to Al Qaeda, claimed responsibility in an e-mail for Wednesday's bombing in New Delhi that killed at least 12 people. A local militant group, Indian Mujahideen, also claimed responsibility in an e-mail Thursday.
As Indian authorities began investigating the incident, detaining three men today for questioning in connection to HUJI's e-mail, the public expressed doubts that the attack on New Delhi's High Court would be resolved or prompt any additional vigilance or security from the government.
The e-mail from HUJI was traced back to an Internet cafe in the Indian-administered state of Jammu and Kashmir, located in the Kashmir region. Police detained three men working in an Internet cafe there and are investigating the authenticity of the e-mail, Reuters reports. Meanwhile, Indian Mujahideen (IM) also claimed responsibility for the attack in an e-mail sent today and refuted HUJI's claim, The Hindustan Times reports.
HUJI has claimed responsibility for attacks in India in the past, but not in recent years. Security sources in Indian-administered Kashmir expressed doubt about HUJI's claims because the group had not been active in the region for "some time." Security officials say the group would also not have used an Internet cafe to send a claim of responsibility, Reuters reports. If HUJI is actually responsible for the bombing of New Delhi's High Court, a fledgling reconciliation process between India and Pakistan could suffer.
RELATED: Mumbai's terror track record
Indians criticized the government for not implementing adequate security measures following the deadly shooting spree in Mumbai in 2008, or after bombings in Mumbai in July. Wednesday's bomb was detonated less than 1,000 feet from the site of a minor explosion at the High Court in May, The Hindustan Times reports.
"Given the precedent, one would have expected adequate security measures to be put in place to avoid a repeat. But despite the Delhi High Court being a high-value target in the heart of the national capital, not even rudimentary measures such as metal detectors or CCTV surveillance were in place. This speaks of an extraordinarily lax security culture," The Times of India writes in an editorial.