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Date : 14th Oct. 2007 Time : 00:30 am
Place: My Study room, Chishty Manzil – Ajmer sharif .

Dear Editor ,its nice to read some very real words about how n what measures should be taken up to deal with the terrible acts similar to what happen in blessed Ajmer sharif .

The whole incident has shaken all of us very deeply ,I still couldn’t believe what I saw ,heard n witnessed on that fateful Thursday evening as I sat in our balcony facing the Daragh sharif to break my daylong fast with other members of my family .Our house 'Chishty Manzil' is just opposite the blessed Dargah and from our balcony you get a very clear view of the "Ahata e Noor" where this terrible act of violence took place .

I was sitting quietly over the "DastarQhwan" as the clock was ticking slowly for the time of breaking the fast i.e. 06:14 pm and as ticked I said a two line prayers of breaking the fast and kept a piece of Date's in my mouth and the next moment I heard a loud bang which sounded like an explosion and it was powerful enough to make me feel the vibrations .I stood up and couldn’t and still can't believe what I saw.....there was a huge cloud of smoke over the "Ahata e Noor" and people were screaming ,running and shouting ,nobody understood what had happened out there in the middle of the blessed shrine .I immediately ran towards the Dargah and was shocked ,terrified n helplessly broken to see what had happened in the blessed “Abode of Peace” .

There was confusion n commotion everywhere as people shouted for help n assistance, everybody was shouting bomb explosion, stay away and to evacuate the "Ahata e Noor". I saw pool of blood, masses of flesh and blood soaked bodies, nothing seems to be real and as if I was in a state of terrible trance.
For me, the blessed Dargah of Khawaja Gharib Nawaz is the safest place on earth because its here that I had been born n brought up, grownup, as kids we have played and ran across the blessed compound of the Dargah Sharif and the feeling to witness such a terrible thing at the very same peaceful place is something I am afraid I could ever put in words......!

Nobody was prepared for such a terrible situation ,nobody knew how to react to such gross act of violence which has never been seen or heard in the past 800 years peaceful history of Ajmer sharif .Somehow I gathered some strength and was able to join in with some of my Khadim brothers and other young men who were helping ,carrying and rushing the injured to the Hospital .One thing I would really like to appreciate about our Khadims brothers and young men that despite of very strong possibilities of a second bomb explosion ,nobody deterred away from giving a helping and a life saving hand to the injured. I think that was very courageous of the simple people of Ajmer sharif - a small and peaceful town ,who could had never ever imagined to be in the middle of such an act of terror and violence .

There was confusion and commotion even in the hospital as even they were not prepared for such a situation as well but the experienced doctors and young medical students were very quick to understand and react to the whole situation, I also appreciate the efforts of young Dr. Ruqquia Syed who also happen to be my first cousin and doing her first year of internship in the same hospital who came in as an volunteer to help the victims of this bomb blast.
We ran across the multi floor hospital's blood bank to get the required blood for the critical blast victims, we took some of the injured on stretchers for the X-ray’s, C.T. scans. In all there were 2 people who were brought dead and 17 injured, thanks to the quick treatment and positive attitude of the doctors that there were no casualties among the injured after reaching the hospital.

All this was done in a state of shock, terror n grief. In fact, its only today and you - the Editor of Times of India are the first person that I am writing to and expressing what I saw and felt in words .Last night I tried to logon to my laptop to open my mailbox which was flooded with emails from Family n friends across the planet concerning the Ajmer sharif blast, our safety, security and situation in Ajmer sharif . I trembled as my fingers wouldn’t move to type anything and any account of what I saw, felt n experienced!!!!
Today, the biggest irony for me is to write what I am writing to you when a festival of Hugs, Peace, Joy, Celebrations, Sweets, Blessings from elders - The beautiful day of Eid ul Fitr is just a few hours away!

Tonight, while sitting in my study and typing out this mail I am having a very strange feeling as I had never experienced such a crude silent night before the blessed Eid day ,ever in my life . I can see the blessed Dargah sharif and the lanes surrounding it from my study room and they never looked so strangely silent. The night before Eid ,had always been lively as people are busy with last minute shopping ,men n boys waiting in lines outside the Barbers shops to get the right look for the Eid day and everybody is in a cheerful and festive mood . Unfortunately, tonight nothing of that is happening anywhere around the lanes of Dargah sharif as we all decided to observe Eid in a very simple manner by just offering our Eid prayers in the morning in a very modest of manners.

I just came home from the Hospital, where i had gone with my friend Khalid to visit the injured. On the way we bought new Kurtas and Topi's (Prayer Caps) for the victims as some of them can go for their Eid prayers in the morning, Alhamdulilah. They were happy to see me as we have become a sort of friends over past two days ,a couple of them calls me by my name but rest who can't recall my name simply call Khadim saheb ( Mr.servant ). We gave each a Kurta and a Topi, the smile on there face was priceless. I think its that priceless Smile that has given me the strength, courage n ability to write what I am writing tonight.
I greeted them Eid Mubarrak, and wished them a quick recovery. I shall be going again to meet them in the morning after Eid prayers as I want to share the moments of happiness ,peace ,joy's n smiles .....which had been lost in past two days of violence ,shock n terror !

Alhamdullilah ,by the Karam of great Awliya Khawaja Gharib Nawaz - the unholy and shameless efforts and desires of the foe's of Humanity to disharmonize and disintegrate the people of India has avail them noughts .There hadn’t been a single incident of backlash's or communal tensions in any part of our blessed India which proves now and again that "My Khawaja's India is Great ".
Let us all put in our own small or big efforts to spread the blessed message of Love ,Peace ,Beauty and Tolerance as brought and taught by in Khawaja Gharib Nawaz's own words - " Love towards all ,Malice towards None " .

Thank you for your patience in reading a long heartfelt mail of this humble servant (Khadim) of Sultan ul Hind Hz. Khawaja Moinuddin Chishty (ra).

Love ,Peace ,Blessings

Syed Salman Chishty
S/o Late S.M.Usman Chishty
Chishty Manzil
Jhalra street ,Dargah sharif
Ajmer sharif ,Rajasthan
India


Blast at Ajmer dargah: 3 dead, 28 hurt

October 11, 2007 19:00 IST
Last Updated: October 12, 2007 00:10 IST

Terror struck the highly reverred Sufi shrine of Khwaja Moinuddin Chisthi in Ajmer when a bomb went off inside the complex on Thursday evening killing three persons and injuring 28 others as thousands of Muslims were breaking their day-long Ramzan fast.

A near-stampede broke out soon after the bomb kept in a school bag exploded at 1816 hours as people, who were having food after the fast, running ran helter-skelter, many of them profusely bleeding, and overturned plates and eatables lay scattered.One of the persons killed in the low-intensity blast, which took place a few meters away from the main tomb, was identified as 45-year-old Mohammed Shoaib from Mumbai who had come to offer prayers at the dargah of the 13th century Sufi saint.

Of the injured, 14 are undergoing treatment at the local Jawaharlal Nehru Hospital and an equal number of others were dischared from the hospital after first aid. Out of the 14 injured who are still admitted, the condition of one was critical, Rajasthan Additional Director General of Police (Law and Order) Kanhiya Lal said.

It appeared to be a pre-planned terror attack and the bomb was kept in a school bag near a tree at 'Aahetai-e-Noor' (holy place), about 10-15 feet away from main tomb of the Sufi saint, he said.Union Home Ministry sources in Delhi said it was a terror strike in which militants had used a low-intensity improvised explosive device.

They said the terror outfits, including Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Tayiba, were against Sufi Islam and they could be prime suspects behind the blast at the shrine, respected by both Hindus and Muslims, which came barely 10 days ahead of the meeting of Indo-Pakistan anti-terror mechanism on October 22. Central Reserve Police Force battalions based in Ajmer had been kept in readiness for deployment at the shrine.

Rajasthan Principal Secretary (Home) V S Singh said it was a low-intensity blast and a team of forensic experts have reached the blast site. Entry into the dargah, visited by both Hindus and Muslims, has been restricted and people are being screened, he said. Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje, who is in Delhi, announced a compensation of Rs 5 lakh for the next of kin of those killed in the terror attack at the shrine of Sufi saint Khwaja Moinuddin Chisti. The seriously injured will get a relief of Rs 1 lakh each.

A high alert was sounded across Rajasthan and security at all religious places enhanced in the wake of terror attack at the dargah, Kanhaiya Lal said. Police was asked to deploy armed men at railway stations, airports, bus stops and the state secretariat, he said. Union Home Secretary Madhukar Gupta told reporters in Delhi that all states to intensify vigil in view of the forthcoming festive season in the wake of the blast. Security had already been stepped up at key shrines across the country following the Mecca Masjid blast in Hyderabad in May this year.

With major Hindu and Muslim festivals round the corner starting with Eid-ul-Fitr, Gupta asked the states to maintain communal peace and harmony. Rajasthan Home Minister Gulab Chand Katara said it has to be found out whether the incident was a result of a security lapse. He admitted that a major chunk of the state's police force was monitoring the Gujjar agitation.

"Due to the Gujjar agitation, the security forces were busy in monitoring the situation, so they were scattered all over the state," Katara said adding, the police force was not present in large numbers at Ajmer and more specifically at the dargah. No policeman was injured in the blast, Divisional Commissioner, Ajmer, Deepak Utpreti said.

Two or three private security guards were injured when hundreds of people rushed out of the dargah, he said. Companies of Rajasthan Armed Constabulary were deployed in the dargah area and investigation was on by experts of Forensic Science Laboratory and intelligence agencies, including Central organisations, he added.

Utpreti who is also supervising the hospitalisation said one of the injured was very critical and senior doctors are attending on him.

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Ajmer blast: Bags planted 2 days back.
12 Oct 2007, 1038 hrs IST,INDIATIMES NEWS NETWORK & AGENCIES

NEW DELHI: Fresh leads with the investigators in the blast at the revered Sufi shrine of Khwaja Moinuddin Chisti have revealed that the attack was planned weeks in advance. According to sources, 3 explosives laden bags were planted in the dargah 2 days before the blast. Sources told Times Now that only one bag went off during Thursday's blast while the other two didn't explode. Investigators have already recovered one unexploded bag. The bags made their way into Ajmer weeks ahead of the actual attack.

Rajasthan police, meanwhile, is interrogating some suspects, including pilgrims of Bangladeshi origin, in connection with the blast. The Friday prayers at the dargah will go ahead as scheduled. Some suspects are being interrogated since last night but no arrests have been made in the blast which claimed two lives and left 17 injured, a senior official said.

"Police and intelligence agencies are interrogating suspected people, even pilgrims of Bangladesh origin besides investigation by forensic and state CID-Crime branch experts", Additional Director-General of Police (Law & Order) Kanihya Lal told reporters here. Though the blast site was cordoned off, the Jumma Namaz would be conducted inside the Dargah of Khawaja Moinudeen Chisti, he said, adding preparations were afoot with deployment of armed forces.

The ADG said BSF and RAC (Rajasthan Armed Constabulary) personnel were deployed last night as a precautionary measure. A high alert was sounded across Rajasthan and security at all religious places enhanced in the wake of terror attack. An official investigating the case said "seventeen close circuit TVs were installed but they are not working due to differences among khadims and the Dargah diwan ".


Policemen outside the Khwaja Moinuddin
Chisti Dargah in Ajmer yesterday,
Where a bomb blast killed three and injured 17 others.

“I came to Ajmer Sharif with high hopes. I never imagined my husband would die here,” says Tajunnissa, wife of city resident Mohammed Shoaib (45), who died in the blast at Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti Dargah yesterday.
Tajunnissa and Shoaib used to visit Ajmer Sharif regularly.

Tajunnissa couldn’t come to terms with the fact that Shoaib is dead, even after she identified his body at the Jawaharlal Nehru Hospital in Ajmer. “I still can’t believe it,” was all she could say over the phone from Ajmer.

The Shoaibs live near Bilal Masjid at Sewree Cross Road. Shoaib also had another wife and six children.

 

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