NEW DELHI: You are more likely to die in abomb blast in India than in Afghanistan. Strange as it may sound, government data show that India is among the most dangerous places in the world as far as bomb blasts per year are concerned – next only to Iraq and Pakistan, with even war-torn Afghanistan and Syria doing better.
Latest data from National Bomb Data Centre (NBDC) show that India suffered 212 bomb blasts in 2013 — more than double of what Afghanistan (with 108 blasts) suffered. Facing internal strife, Bangladesh with 75 blasts and Syria with 36 blasts have done better.
While the number of blasts in India decreased from 241 in 2012 to 212 in 2013, casualties went up with 130 deaths and 466 injuries last year as compared to 113 deaths and 419 injuries in 2012.
Analyzing the frequency of IED blasts in the country over the past decade, the document says between 2004 and 2013 “there have been an average of 298 blasts and 1,337 casualties in India”. This is again higher than Afghanistan which in the past five years witnessed a maximum of 209 such attacks in 2010, according to the data.
In fact, along with Pakistan and Iraq, India accounts for almost 75% of bomb blasts in the world. However, India has done slightly better than the rest of the world in terms of the share of attacks targeted at common public. While in the rest of the world, 69% of attacks are directed towards public, India registered 58% in this category with the rest being targeted at the security forces and government property.
But even these figures could change. While security forces managed to decrease attacks on them by almost 40% last years as compared to 2012, attacks on public remained almost the same. “This is due to improved drills and alertness of security forces. A similar alertness and training is not there with the people,” said an officer of the security establishment.
An analysis of the attacks in India shows that its North East region (Assam and Manipur worst affected) and Maoist areas (Bihar, Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand registering most blasts) have contributed to over 80% of IED attacks even though Jammu and Kashmir witnessed a 50% rise in bomb blasts last year as compared to2012.
Among states Jammu and Kashmir, Jharkhand, Meghalaya, West Bengal, Nagaland and Karnataka have all witnessed a spurt in terror attacks through blasts while 15 other states including Manipur, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Assam, Tamil Nadu and Odisha witnessed a declining trend.
(Source: National Bomb Data Centre)