In a terrorist attack on the railroad system in Mumbai in July 2006 about 180 people were killed. The coordinated bombings occurred aboard seven commuter trains within 15 minutes of each other during the evening rush hour. It was the deadliest terrorist attack in India since 1993, when about 250 people were killed in a series of bombings in Mumbai, including one at the stock exchange. Bomb blasts in the markets of cities like Delhi, Bangalore, Ahmedabad, Jaipur, and Guwahati—located in the four corners of the country—in the 2005 to 2009 period killed tens of people in each case. The police claimed to have evidence that Pakistani terrorist groups were responsible.
However, a terrorist attack on a commuter rail line, two luxury hotels, and other locations in Mumbai in November 2008 was called “India’s 9/11” because of the audacity of the attack. The attacks led to prolonged gun battles between India’s security forces and the terrorists who holed up in the hotels. A group of at least ten gunmen began the attack on November 26 and were not subdued until November 29. Estimates of the death toll ranged from at least 188 to more than 195 people, including at least 28 foreigners. Among them were 6 U.S. citizens and 8 Israeli citizens.
At least 2 U.S. citizens were killed at a Jewish religious center that had been seized by some of the terrorists. Neither the failures of security measures, which prompted the resignation of the home minister, nor the BJP’s efforts to blame “Muslims” and stir up anti-Pakistan fervor had any effect on the domestic political scene.
In July 2008 the UPA government survived a no-confidence vote in a session of parliament marked by the high drama of impassioned speeches and charges that MPs were being bribed to support the government on the issue of the India-U.S. nuclear deal. The Communist parties, which objected strenuously to the new partnership with the United States that the deal symbolized and made concrete, withdrew their support, but the Socialist Party did not. In the regularly scheduled parliamentary elections nine months later, a slightly different UPA won decisively, while the NDA and particularly the leftist parties lost support.
Voters seemed to have rewarded parties in states that were judged to be well-governed, no matter what their alliance. In May 2009 Prime Minister Singh was sworn in again, the first prime minister to be reelected after a full term since Nehru in 1962.
In October 2008 India demonstrated its scientific and technological achievements by launching its first spacecraft to the Moon. The unpiloted lunar mission was intended to improve mapping of the Moon’s surface. The Chandrayaan-1 went into orbit around the Moon and also successfully sent a probe to its surface. "India" © Emmanuel BUCHOT, Encarta, Wikipedia.
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