A Hyderabad court on Monday reserved its verdict in the 2007 twin blasts, which killed 44 people and left over 50 others injured. The verdict will now be pronounced on September 4.
It’s been 11 long years since the blasts, but justice is still elusive for the victims and their kin.
“We have been fighting for 11 years, but we still have to wait for justice. There is so much evidence at the court’s disposal, so many people died, so many people’s lives were destroyed, and yet justice has not been delivered,” said R Chander, who lost an eye in the blast.
But he did not want to blame the courts for this delay.
“There are such few courts and so many cases in this country. We can’t blame the legal system; the onus is on the government to deliver justice,” he added.
The twin bombings occurred 11 years ago, on August 25, 2007. Gokul Chat is located near the city’s Koti area, and Lumbini Park is near the Secretariat on Tank Bund Road.
Since early morning on Monday, security was beefed up around Cherlapally Central Prison, where the accused are housed. Nampally Court Complex, where the verdict was pronounced, also saw massive security.
G Gurumurthy, a defence lawyer who was in court on Monday, said, “The evidence is voluminous, and the court needs time to check all the evidence. Hence, it is taking time.”
Raheem (left) and Chander (right) both were injured in the blasts and have waited 11 long years for justice.
The first blast took place as several people, including a large group of tourists from Maharashtra, were watching a laser show at Lumbini Park – famous for its boat rides to the giant Buddha statue in Hussain Sagar lake.
Within minutes, the second blast took place at Koti, a business hub and a haunt for book lovers in the city.
One unexploded bomb was also found near Dilsukhnagar, and was later defused by police forces.
The Counter Intelligence (CI) wing of the Telangana Police, which is investigating the case, said that banned outfit Indian Mujahideen (IM) was responsible for the blasts and the main accused, Riyaz and Yasin Bhatkal, who are the founders of IM, are absconding.
A chargesheet was filed in 2013 against Riyaz and Yasin Bhatkal, Aneeq Shafique Sayeed, Mohammed Sadiq, Ismail Chaudhary, Ansar Ahmed Badshah Sheikh and a seventh person. They were booked under relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code and the Explosive Substances Act.
While Aneeq Shafique Sayeed, Mohammed Sadiq, Ismail Chaudhary and Ansar Ahmed Badshah Sheikh are lodged in the Cherlapally prison, the remaining three are absconding.
For victims, this delay is another disappointment. “We may not even get a verdict on September 4. For how long do they want us to hold on to hope?” asks Raheem, who was injured in the Gokul Chat blast.