.- On behalf of Pope Benedict XVI, Cardinal Secretary of State Angelo Sodano has sent a telegram to officials of the Church and state in India offering condolences and prayers for those effected by the recent terrorist attacks on eight trains in the city of Mumbai and condemning the acts, which caused the death of at least 200 people.
The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India on Tuesday condemned the serial bomb blasts that shook the city.
Reports this morning have raised the toll to 200 people killed and than 400 injured during the eight blasts that occurred during peak evening traffic in a span of 30 minutes.
The bishops’ spokesperson, Fr. Babu Joseph, appealed to the people to face “this hour of anguish with equanimity.”
“The bomb blasts are the handiworks of anti-social elements,” he said. “We should all join hands together to defeat the nefarious designs of the anti-social elements in the country,” he urged.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh cut short his Kolkata trip and returned to New Delhi. Home Ministry sources said security has been beefed up at all vital installations in the country, public places, places of worship and markets across major cities. Paramilitary forces are on full alert.
Indian press agencies have reported that many Mumbians returned to work this morning, but that there was a marked decrease in riders on the city’s mass transit system.
The Central government has assured the Maharashtra government that Mumbai will be given all the necessary help to deal with the tragic event.