It has been 11 long years of wait for justice to the victims of 2007 twin blasts in the busiest places of Hyderabad – Gokul Chat and Lumbini Park that claimed 42 lives and injured nearly 50 people on August 25, 2007. After several years of trial, the special court will be pronouncing its verdict on Monday. Ahead of the judgement, the victims say they want capital punishment for the accused.
“The blasts left me impaired. There are still fragments of the pellets in my head. At times I can’t hear,” says Syed Raheem one of the victims. In the blast Raheem lost his left eye which also ruined his career as a painter.
“After losing my eye, I couldn’t do my job, now I am surviving on the income of my daughters. The incident entirely changed my life,” he laments.
On the day of the blasts, 67-year-old Raheem and his younger daughter Tahseen were returning from Lakdikapul. They had halted at Gokul Chat in Koti as his daughter craved for a Kulfi. “My daughter was waiting in the auto, and I went to buy the kulfi. As I neared to the Kulfi box, there was a huge explosion. The sound was deafening and I was on ground. I don’t remember what happened.”
“There was blood and human flesh all over me. I was covered in it. My daughter could identify me based on the shirt colour. I still remember how my eye had popped out,” he recalls.
Raheem says he is not eager about the judgement. “In our country they wouldn’t accept my set of demands, I want the accused to undergo more pain than what they inflicted on us.”
“Our lives are completely shattered… what wrong did those innocents who died commit? The court should have promptly executed the accused,” he says seething in anger.
J Narasimha Sharma, who lost his 20-year-old daughter Pratyusha in the blast, expresses the same. Another victim, R Chander, who lost his right eye, also says that the court should give capital punishment. Chander was a B.Com student studying in Badhruka College. On the day of the incident, he went to purchase books in Koti near Gokul Chat.
“I was walking on the pavement outside the eatery, when the bomb exploded. The incident has left me unemployed. I incurred an expense of Rs 20 lakh for the eye treatment at various hospitals. My parents had to sell their property to spend towards my treatment. I want the government to give me additional compensation and also provide me with a government employment,” he says.
The Telangana government had provided a compensation of Rs 5 lakh each for both Raheem and Chander from the Chief Minister’s Relief Fund.
Chander has founded Terrorist Bomb Blast Victims’ Association demanding justice for the victims, he says that the victim or the kin of the victim should be provide with a government job.
About the blast
On August 25, 2007, two improvised explosive devices exploded within five minutes of each other. The first bomb blast took place in Lumbini Park during a laser show, followed by the second blast at Gokul Chat at 7.50 pm.
The death toll would have swelled further had the 19 more bombs set at different crowded places in the city exploded, later recovered by police.
According to reports, police also defused a bomb set at a foot over bridge at Dilsukhnagar. The bomb was set with timers.
The suspects behind these deadly blasts are allegedly members of Indian Mujahideen – a terrorist group. The brain behind the blasts, founder of IM, Riyaz Bhatkal is absconding.
Police have caught three accused---Aneeq Shafique Sayeed, Mohammed Akbar Ismail Choudhari and Mohammed Sadiq Sheik out of the seven accused charged by the authorities.
Police said that Riyaz Bhatkal had told Mohammed Akbar Ismail Choudhari, a resident of Pune to visit Hyderabad, identify the crowded places and plant bombs.
As instructed, he conducted a recce across Hyderabad and planted bombs at several places out of which two of them exploded.
After several years of probe by the Counter Intelligence Police of the state, the special court of central prison Cherlapally will pronounce its verdict on Monday. Police have beefed up security around the jail.