Anti-Terrorism Day is observed every year on 21 May, on the death anniversary of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi.
He was assassinated on 21 May,1991 by the Liberation of Tamil Tigers Eelam (LTTE) terrorists while campaigning for the Congress Party at Sriperumbudur in Tamil Nadu. A woman from the LTTE terrorist group came in front of him. She had explosives under her clothes and approached the PM and bent down as if to touch his feet when suddenly a bomb exploded and killed the PM and approximately 25 people.
Anti-Terrorism Day is celebrated to promote peace and harmony. This day is celebrated to cause awareness about the havoc created by terrorists and terrorist activities. It also helps us remember the sacrifices made by thousands of soldiers and policemen who fought against terrorism to protect their country and their people.
Here are a few times that India has unfortunately been under terrorist attack:
1. Mandai Massacre: The Mandai Massacre refers to the general massacre of the Bengalis of Mandai village near Agartala in the state of Tripura on 8 June 1980 by tribal insurgents. According to official figures 255 Bengalis were massacred in Mandwi, while foreign presses, independent sources and eyewitnesses put the figure anywhere between 350 and 400. The Mandai Massacre was extremely gruesome as many of the victims had their heads crushed and their limbs severed. The children were spiked through and pregnant women had their stomachs slit open.
2. 1993 Bombay Bombings: The 1993 Bombay Bombings were a series of 12 terrorist bombings that took place in Mumbai which was then known as Bombay on 12 March 1993. The single-day attacks resulted in 257 fatalities and 1400 injuries.
3. 1996 Lajpat Nagar Blast: A bomb blast occurred in Lajpat Nagar market in Delhi on 21 May 1996, killing 13 civilians and injuring 39 others. Six members of the militant organisation Jammu Kashmir Islamic Front were convicted for the blasts of which three were sentenced to death, 1 was sentenced to life imprisonment and 2 were released by court adding that their imprisonment served during the trial was their punishment.
4. 2000 Church Bombings of South India: The 2000 Church Bombings of South India refers to the serial bombings of churches in the southern Indian states of Karnataka, Goa and Andhra Pradesh by the Islamist extremist group Deendar Anjuman in the year 2000.
5. 2002 Mumbai bus bombing: The 2002 Mumbai bus bombing took place at 6:45 pm on Monday, 2 December 2002 when a bomb placed under a seat of a B.E.S.T. bus exploded near the busy Ghatkopar station. The bomb was placed in the rear of a bus near the station and killed two people and injured over 50.
6. August 2003 Mumbai Bombings: The 25 August 2003 Mumbai Bombings were twin car bombings that killed 54 and injured 244 people. One of the bomb explosions took place at the Gateway of India and the other bomb went off in a jewellery market Zaveri Bazaar in central Mumbai. Both the bombs were planted in parked taxis and exploded during the lunch hour. The Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Toiba was blamed for this attack.
7. 2005 Delhi Bombings: The 29 October 2005 Delhi Bombings killed 62 people and injured atleast 210 others in three explosions. The bombings took place 2 days before the festival of Diwali. The bombs were triggered in two markets in central and South Delhi and in a bus South of the city.
8. 2008 Mumbai attacks: The 2008 Mumbai attacks also known as 26/11 were a series of terrorist attacks that took place in November of 2008 when 10 members of Lashkar-e-Taiba carried out 12 coordinated shooting and bombing attacks lasting four days across Mumbai. Atleast 174 people died, including 9 attackers and more than 300 were wounded.
9. April 2010 Maoist attack in Dantewada: The 6 April 2010 Dantewada Maoist attack was an ambush by Naxalite-Maoist insurgents from the Communist party of India. This was the deadliest attack by the Maoists on Indian security forces which led to the killing of 76 CRPF policemen and 8 Maoists.
10. 2011 Mumbai Bombings: The 2011 Mumbai Bombings were a series of three coordinated bomb explosions at different locations in Mumbai which took place on 13 July 2011. The blasts occurred at the Opera House at Zaveri Bazaar and at Dadar West localities. 26 were killed and 130 were injured.