Blasts still haunt victims 24 Aug

25 08 2008

Blasts still haunt victims
24 Aug 2008, 0328 hrs IST,TNN
Source TOI

HYDERABAD: Life has come to a standstill for Jeelani Begum. It has been a year since she lost her only son, Akramullah Khan, 19, but no day passes without her crying for him. Akram, a good-natured youth, was her only hope to take the family name forward and lead a dignified life.

His head constable father Asadullah Khan would ask the boy not to take the risk of eating at any roadside eatery. His father’s fears came true on August 25, 2007.

He stopped the auto he was commuting with his two sisters at Gokul Chat. “He took a parcel of chat and was making the exit when the blast had occurred,” Asadullah Khan, who has five daughters, recollected all the happenings of the day, which are still afresh in his mind. “I tried to stop him from going out on that day, but he did not listen,” Khan added.

Jeelani Begum, Khan’s wife, who is weighed down by her son’s loss, cannot ignore worldly worries. Akram was doing a part-time job while pursuing B Com to supplement the family income. In his death, the Khan’s family lost a a future hope.

“On one salary, how can we manage? When he was there, we were hoping that he would look after us and help perform the marriages of his five sisters. But now, there is no hope. Our health is deteriorating by the day,” Jeelani, a diabetic and a high blood pressure patient, said tears rolling down her cheeks.

J Narasimha Sharma spent her late 21-year-old daughter J Prathyusha’s birth anniversary on May 27, this year, at an old age home as his eldest daughter’s ambition was to set up a home for the aged after completing MS in the US.

On that fateful day, Prathyusha had gone to Koti to buy a book for her GRE examinations. Later, she went to Gokul Chat, her favourite eating joint to savour chat and lost her life in the blast.

“She was a bright child and would enthusiastically take part in cultural activities. During some college celebrations, she collected money from fellow students and donated it to Gandhi Hospital for treatment of heart patients. We are planning to institute a gold medal in her name to be given to the topper in her college,” Sharma said.

Hearing their friends praise the tasty chat at Gokul, Mohammad Rizwan Ali and Yahiya Abdul Khader could not control their temptation. Students of intermediate second year and cousins, both set out to the joint for the first time on August 25 last year after coming back from the college.

“If they were alive, they would have been in the first year engineering. Not a day passes without their mothers crying. Rizwan, the youngest of the three sons and intelligent, was very attached to his parents. Unable to bear his loss, his mother has shifted to Riyadh where her husband works,” Mohammad Muneer Uddin, 75, maternal grandfather of Rizwan and Yahiya said.

Kundan Das, who used to sell bags in front of Gokul Chat, was the sole breadwinner of a family comprising three daughters and two sons. As usual Das was at work when the blast took away his life. “I have taken up my father’s business after quitting my college. My uncles are supporting our family,” Anil K umar, 20, Das’s eldest son said.

Kishan Gode’s wife is forced to work as a labourer after his death in the blast. Kishan used to work at the eatery.
The debilitating blasts turned upside down many happy homes and left a permanent scar on the physhe of the city.

The victims only wish that such gory incidents do not recur. “It has happened to my family and many of others’. It should not happen to others,” Narsimha, Prathyusha’s father, who works in a private firm, said.

As many as 32 people were killed at the Gokul Chat blast and 11 at Lumbini Park on August 25 last year. The big question that is on everybody’s mine is: “Why are the perpetrators still moving scot-free?”

Tragic memories of black Saturday haunt victims

August 24th, 2008 – 4:08 pm ICT by IANS

Hyderabad, Aug 24 (IANS) A year after Hyderabad was rocked by twin bomb blasts that snuffed out 43 lives, the real culprits remain at large while memories of the black Saturday still haunt numerous families.It was the evening of Aug 25, 2007 when a powerful explosion devastated Lumbini Park near the state secretariat, killing people enjoying a laser show. Moments later, another but more powerful bomb ripped through Gokul Chat, a popular eatery that was packed at that time.

Ten people were killed in the first blast, seven of of them tourists from Maharashtra. The number killed at the eatery in Koti, a business hub and a haunt of book lovers, was 33. Another 20 were injured.

Coming three months after the blast during Friday prayers at the historic Mecca Masjid that killed nine people, the twin blasts became this 400-year-old city’s worst terror attacks. They instilled a sense of insecurity in this truly cosmopolitan city of over seven million people.

While the failure to crack the case is frustrating the police, the memories of that day haunt many families as well as survivors. The blasts shattered many dreams.

Prathyusha, 21, wanted to go to the US for higher education. After buying a book, she dropped at her favourite Gokul eatery — only to die. Her family is yet to come to terms with the loss.

“The tragedy and her memory will always remain fresh in our minds. The wounds will not heal easily,” lamented her father J. Narasimha Sharma, who works in a private firm.

M. Susheela, 32, a bus conductor, had gone to Koti to buy ‘rakhis’ along with two relatives. On his way home, they stopped at the eatery for snacks when the bomb went off. All three died instantly.

“The failure of the investigating agencies to catch the culprits is painful for us,” said Susheela’s elder sister Chandrakala, who now looks after Susheela’s five-year-old son Sai Kiran.

“Terror attacks ignite passions. After hearing repeatedly how terrorists killed her mother, he says he wants to become a police officer to punish the guilty,” said Susheela, while trying to fight her tears.

The only hope of a head constable’s family. Akramullah Khan, 19, was studying B.Com and also doing a part-time job. He was the only brother of five sisters.

On the fateful day, he was travelling in an auto-rickshaw with two of his sisters. He asked the driver to stop at Gokul Chat and went in alone to take a parcel.

The two sisters watched in horror as their brother died in the massive explosion. The family said that not a single day passes without her mother Jeelani Begum crying for him.

The blast wiped out an entire family. Mohammed Saleem, 42, a realtor, his wife Syeda Farida Naaz, 37, and their sons – 8-year-old Amir and 6-year-old Mohammed Ali — had gone to Lumbini Park to see the laser show.

Half hour before the blast at the park, the family left for Goklu Chat as the children were more keen on savouring chat. Moments after the family entered the eatery, the powerful bomb killed them all.

A year later, the police still appear to be groping in the dark. The investigating agencies could not go beyond blaming the Bangladesh-based terror outfit Harkat-ul-Jihad-e-Islami (HUJI), believed to be also responsible for the Mecca Masjid blast.

They could only confirm that terrorists used Neogel-90, an ammonium nitrate base, in the IEDs, a pattern seen again in Ajmer and Jaipur blasts this year.

As many as 97 suspects were picked up for questioning and 21 were jailed on suspicion of their links with HUJI terrorists but the police have still failed to crack the case.

The police are clueless about where the bombs came from, how they were brought to Hyderabad and who planted them. As a result, not one single man directly involved in the explosions was arrested.

Police officials argue that it was not easy to crack the cases as the HUJI commanders, including Shahid alias Bilal, a native of Hyderabad, operate from Pakistan and Bangladesh.

The 97 picked up by the police included a few Bangladeshis staying illegally but they were not found linked to the terrorists. A majority of the suspects was let off.

Police said the terror group entrusted the job of smuggling and transportation of explosives, manufacture, planting and carrying out the attacks to different people, making it difficult for the investigating agencies to identify the real culprits.

Govt apathy rubs salt into blast scars
25 Aug 2008, 0459 hrs IST, Sunil Mungara,TNN

Source: TOI

HYDERABAD: A year after the twin blasts on August 25, 2007, many of those who were injured are yet to recover physically and emotionally from the state that they have been pushed to. What is worse is that most of them have exhausted the means of continuing their treatment. The government after paying Rs 20,000 ex gratia per person washed its hands off the affair. Apart from the dead, at least 60 were injured in the blasts at Gokul Chat at Koti and the Laserium at Lumbini Park.

G Sadasiva Reddy, who completed M Tech and was working as a design engineer in an electrical company has lost his memory completely after the blast. Though he speaks well, the tragedy for the family is that he does not even recognise them.

“It is worse than death,” his parents told TOI talking about his condition. Sadasiva Reddy received severe injuries on his head, hands, legs and abdomen at the Gokul Chat blast. He had gone there with his friends Uday and Badusha. First taken to Osmania General Hospital and later treated at Care Hospital, Sadasiva Reddy was discharged in January 2008. For his physiotherapy treatment and medicines, the family has to spend at least Rs 15,000 per month.

Sadasiva’s friend P Badusha’s condition is much worse: he still remains bedridden. A native of the city, Badusha, an M Tech, worked as a telecom engineer in Australia and had come home on a holiday when his world came crashing. His father P P Balaiah, a lecturer in a government college says that Badusha’s spinal cord is damaged and he can’t walk. Discharged from hospital five months ago, the physiotherapy treatment at home is costing the family a huge sum.

Another victim, D Satyanarayana, a resident of New Nallakunta lost his hearing capacity in his left ear. Along with his brother D Sivashankar, he had gone to Gokul Chat. Satyanarayana received severe injuries on his chest, hands and thigh, while Sivashankar lost his teeth and received injuries on his face.

“The splinters have still not been removed from my thigh. Doctors said that a major operation needs to be performed to remove them,” Satyanarayana said. Due to the disability, he does not drive a van that he used to run his business.




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