Thirteen years ago, on December 7, 2010, Varanasi, one of India's holiest cities and previously known as Benares, was struck by a devastating bombing incident that left an indelible mark on its history. The blast occurred at Sheetla Ghat, situated adjacent to the revered Dashashwamedh Ghat, shaking the tranquil aura of the city.
Claimed by the militant group Indian Mujahideen, this act of terror followed a distressing pattern, as Varanasi had already endured a traumatic attack four years prior. The explosion took place just a day after the anniversary of the Babri Masjid demolition, adding a chilling layer of significance to the timing of the incident.
Sheetla Ghat, in close proximity to the renowned Kashi Vishwanath temple and a central ghat in the city, became the epicenter of the blast. Tragically, a two-year-old child lost their life in the immediate aftermath of the explosion, while another woman succumbed to her injuries four days later on December 11. Over 40 individuals, including six foreigners, were wounded in the attack. Among the injured, 20 were admitted to BHU Hospital, 13 to Kabir Chaura Hospital, and four to Heritage Hospital.
The repercussions of this heinous act reverberated beyond the physical casualties, sparking nationwide communal violence that resulted in the tragic deaths of over 1,000 individuals. The blast not only claimed lives and caused injuries but also instigated an atmosphere of fear and anguish within the community.
Varanasi, a city steeped in spirituality and cultural significance, found itself grappling with the aftermath of this abhorrent event. The bombing shattered the peaceful essence of this sacred place, leaving a scar on the hearts and minds of its residents and visitors.
In the wake of such tragedy, the resilience of the people of Varanasi and their unwavering spirit stood as a testament to the city's strength. Despite the anguish and pain caused by the blast, the community came together to support and heal, demonstrating unity and solidarity in the face of adversity.
The 2010 Varanasi bombing remains a somber chapter in the history of the city, a stark reminder of the fragility of peace and the enduring need for harmony and understanding among diverse communities. As the city continues to honor its cultural heritage and religious significance, it also bears the memory of those who lost their lives in this tragic incident, a poignant reminder of the importance of peace and unity in a world often plagued by conflict and violence.