Iqlak Ahmed Ansari can never forget those two hours after he heard a blast had occurred near Nayapura, close to the kabrestan (graveyard). His daughter Sagufta Parveen studies at a madrassa in Nayapura, a stone’s throw from the blast site.
“For two hours I frantically tried to contact my relatives but the entire network was jammed,” said Ansari. “I was worried like hell; she is my only daughter.”
At 5 pm he heaved a sigh of relief, as he was informed of his daughter’s safety. Apart from their daughter, wife Fakija Bano’s parents and brothers stay in Nayapura.
“I wonder what the terrorists got with this ghastly act,” said Bano.
Tension was visible in the city after the explosion, especially in Muslim-dominated areas like Madanpura, Mohanmmad Ali Road, Paydhoni and Nagpada, even as people offered namaz (prayer) on the occasion of Shabe Barat right from 5 pm.
Shabe Baraat is an auspicious day, when prayers are offered at the kabrestan. In Malegaon, Bada Kabrestan is a landmark, where more than 20,000 Muslims assemble to pay homage to ancestors.
There are more than 700 families in the city whose native place is Malegaon. They are mostly from the Ansari community and well-educated.
Like Saghir Sheikh, who is secretary of the Malegaon Society of Education that provides aid to students for higher education outside Malegaon. Sheikh was speaking to his students when he heard of the blast. He just could not concentrate on work, as his uncle Gaffer Master has a communication centre right opposite the blast site.
“It is a clear attempt to disrupt peace in Malegaon,” he said.
Mohammad Yasin said he was in Andheri when his wife called to tell him about the blast. His nephew, Akhil Ansari, and other family members in Malegaon could not be reached.
After half-an-hour Ansari could be reached finally. He was safe, though he was in the kabrestan when the blast took place.