Canada’s Indian community shocked at attacks in Mumbai

This news appeared on CBC after the 2006 Mumbai train bombings.

Original link to the CBC story here.

Mumbai train bombings – CBC news

Canada’s Indian community shocked at attacks in Mumbai

News of the deadly bombings in Mumbai has struck hard in Indian communities across Canada.

By late Tuesday, the death toll had risen to at least 190 people after seven bombs exploded on the train network in India’s financial capital during the evening rush hour.

People stand outside a train coach that was destroyed in a bomb blast in Mumbai.
People stand outside a train coach that was destroyed in a bomb blast in Mumbai.
(Associated Press)

The Patel family from Toronto is heading back to Mumbai for a summer vacation. But instead of excitement there’s now a sense of trepidation.

“It surprised us as soon as we heard,” said Kalpana Patel. “My brother called and said we’d better inquire about our flight and see if we [should] still go.”

Their flight was to leave as scheduled, but the Patels weren’t so sure leaving Canada is such a good idea.

“Toronto being home, Mumbai is our original home. It still feels [scary] to go home like this because being here, it’s so safe and nice,” said Chirag Patel.

It’s also their children’s first visit to the country from which they emigrated seven years ago, a prospect they say is now “scary.”

Pratima Jha is flying to Delhi and then taking the train to Rajistan. But those plans may change.

“I will think about taking a taxi instead of going by train. I’m much too worried now these things has happened.”

Plenty of concern

In Toronto’s Little India there is worry and concern.

“There are some friends over there,” said one woman. “We’re definitely going to call them and find out what’s going on over there.”

“I feel very sad and I feel sorry you know, for the loss of life and injured, and I’m very sorry for their families,” said another man.

Prashant Kadam, who is originally from just outside Mumbai, says he’s puzzled by the bombings.

“The first thing that comes to mind is why would this happen and who would let this happen?”

That’s a question many people are asking.

“First reaction will be surprise. Second reaction will be disbelief. And then the next question will be why? Why should these kinds of things be happening?” said Ajit Jian, editor of India Abroad.

Calls about the attacks took over regular programming on Vancouver’s Radio India.

“They are all worried … right now especially because the phone lines are dead,” said news director Sukminder Cheema.

Foreign Affairs Minister Peter MacKay said in a statement: “This is another awful reminder of the determination of terrorists who use murder as an instrument to advance their political ends.

“Canada,” he said, “stands with India, a proud democracy, in condemning these acts of terror perpetrated by those who value human life less than their own extreme beliefs.”

Foreign Affairs officials are still trying to reach Canadians in Mumbai to determine whether any were injured in Tuesday’s attacks.

Last Updated: Tuesday, July 11, 2006 | 11:14 PM ET