Six minutes of terror

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Date  22/10/2016

On July 11, 2006, seven bomb blasts occurred over a period of six minutes on the Mumbai suburban railway, killing 189 people and injuring over 800. Ten years after, a book presents a complete account of the events that led to the bombings, providing a blow-by-blow account of the long trial that saw five people get death sentence and eight get life imprisonment last year.

Six Minutes of Terror is written by two first-time authors Nazia Sayed and Sharmeen Hakim, both journalists with Mumbai Mirror . The book was launched by Prashant Rathi, one of the survivors of the blasts, at an event on Friday, and also present to launch the book were actor Naseeruddin Shah and crime journalist and author S Hussain Zaidi. The book has been published by Penguin Random House India in association with Blue Salt.

Mr. Shah described the book as ‘wonderfully researched and somewhat disturbing’. He said it was important that the book come out and be read. Mr. Shah said while he does not want to engage with any standard talking points on terrorism, he said it was the education that he and his brothers got that set them apart from others who received only religious instructions and felt that their religion is constantly in danger.

“Both the communities need to engage in the right kind of education. It is time to bury all the skeletons and stop spreading hatred. It’s time we thought why religion — which is one of the most beautiful things on earth — is being used to spread hatred.”

Ms. Hakim said the idea of telling a complete story around the blasts came after the conclusion of the nine-year trial in the case last year when she was confronted with a mountain of paperwork detailing the case.

“Many people lost their lives and many families were in ruin. We interviewed many of the families but the heart of the book is the twists and turns in the trial. This was one of the first trials in which the accused had a proper defence and during the course of the trial, many loopholes in the investigations were pointed out,” she said. Ms. Sayed said the book raises several questions that she hoped would force the reader to think.

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