Anti-Terrorism Day 2021: From Mumbai blasts to Pulwama attack, 5 terror attacks that rocked India since 1990s


Since the early 90s, India has been fighting a war against terrorism that has claimed the lives of thousands of people, including personnel of the security forces, in the country so far. While the country over the last three decades has taken several steps and measures to mitigate terrorism, more needs to be done to avoid the radicalisation of youths. Therefore, we celebrate Anti-Terrorism Day every year on May 21 to promote national harmony and unity among people across the country.


Why Anti-Terrorism Day is observed on May 21 every year?

It was this day in 1991 when former India Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi was assassinated by the Liberation of Tamil Tiger Eelam (LTTE) in response to the Indian peace-keeping campaign in Sri Lanka. Thus, the VP Singh government in the early 1990s decided to observe May 21 as Anti-Terrorism Day in India to spread the message of peace, humanity, unity and harmony among the people of the country.

As India observes Anti-Terrorism Day 2021, here is a look at five terror attacks that rocked the nation over the last three decades:


  1. 1993 Bombay Bombings:

Also known as ‘Mumbai blasts’, the 1993 bombings in Bombay were a series of 12 bomb attacks in India’s financial capital that claimed the lives of over 250 people. The attacks were ordered by underworld don Dawood Ibrahim and were carried out by his subordinates Tiger Memon and Yakub Memon. Following the attacks, the Indian officials arrested hundreds of people, out of which many were found to be guilty. It also executed Memon in 2015 in Nagpur.


  1. Parliament Attack:

The Parliament attack was carried out by Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Taiba in coordination with the Jaish-e-Mohammed. The attack claimed, which aimed to create a hostage-like situation in the Parliament, claimed the lives of six Delhi Police personnel, two Parliament Security Service personnel, and a gardener. Due to the attack, tensions significantly increased between India and Pakistan, with the former launching Operation Parakram and deploying brigades at forward bases. The tensions, however, deescalated as both India and Pakistan withdrew their troops amid international pressure.


  1. Mumbai Attacks:

On November 26, 2008, 10 Lashkar-e-Taiba carried out a fidayeen attack in Mumbai again that created a war-like situation in Bombay, claiming over 150 lives. The terrorists made people hostages in The Oberoi Trident, The Taj Palace and Tower and The Nariman House.

Later, the National Security Guards (NSGs) and the Marcos carried out multiple operations in the city to kill the attackers. The attack once again escalated tensions between India and Pakistan with New Delhi planning to carry out cross-border strikes in PoK. However, the plan was dropped amid international pressure.


  1. Uri Attack:

On September 18, 2016, four Jaish-e-Mohammed terrorists carried out one of the biggest attacks on an Army camp ever in Jammu and Kashmir’s Uri and killed 19 soldiers. The terrorists were eliminated by the Indian Army later but the tensions once again escalated between India and Pakistan.

However, this time, India responded and carried out surgical strikes inside PoK on various terror camps. The attacks were carried by the units of the Para SF. Though Pakistan rejected that any strike was carried out by India, unconfirmed reports suggested that over 75 terrorists were killed by the Indian Army during the surgical strikes.


  1. Pulwama Attack:

Pulwama attack can unarguably be called the biggest attack on the Indian Armed Forces since militancy rose in Jammu and Kashmir. On February 14, 2019, a Jaish-e-Mohammed terrorist — Adil Ahmad Dar — stuck a convoy of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), killing 40 troops and increased tensions between India and Pakistan.


However, unlike the 2016 Surgical Strikes, India this time decided to launch airstrikes in Pakistan’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. The strikes are famously known as the ‘Balakot Airstrike’. Several Indian fighter jets — Su-30 MKIs and Mirage-2000s — crossed the LoC and dropped SPICE 2000 bombs on terror camps in Balakot. Pakistan, like 2016, claimed that the attacks failed and the Indian jets were pushed back by its F-16s. However, unconfirmed reports claimed that mass burial was witnessed near Balakot, confirming that the attack fully achieved its target.



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