Dressed in white, placards in hands, they marched along the Marine Drive on Sunday to pay homage to their friends who died in Pune’s German Bakery blast.
About 50-60 youth between 18 and 25 years — members of Youth for Peace — ended their march at Girgaum and lit candles for their friends — Anindyee Dhar (19), Ankik Dhar (24) and Shilpa Goenka (23).
Sumit Wadhwa, Ankik’s roommate, said: “He was a
very warm guy. I had called him minutes before the blast took place, but didn’t know that he was at the bakery,” said Wadhwa.
The members of Youth for Peace had organised the march to make citizens more aware of their surroundings and demand better security for the masses.
“The entire incident has come as a huge shock to all of us. Its time the government
took some concrete action to curb terrorism,” said Rakshit Singh, a childhood friend of Ankik.
Youth in several other cities — Kolkata, Mumbai, Ranchi, Jaipur and Chandigarh — organised such marches. Students in Amravati,
Shegaon and Delhi also organised marches.
“I had SMSed Anindyee minutes before the blast took place asking her whether she would be able to make it to Mumbai. She had replied saying she wouldn’t as her brother was in Pune,” said Sudip Chakravarthy, Anindyee’s friend who lives in Mumbai.
Unnati Gupta, Ankik’s friend from IIT-Kharakpur, remembers him as a fun loving, brilliant and lively guy.
“We will miss them so much. Ankik had so many dreams and was always brimming with ideas,” said Gupta, who currently works in Mumbai.
“We want to the people to believe and participate in the democratic system and not believe in fundamentalism. We want the politicians to look beyond petty vote bank politics and corruption and improve security for the masses,” said Singh.
Death of brilliance and leadership
“Come to Pune and look at my academic accomplishments.”
This is what Rajiv Agarwala (23) told his father Nandkumar at their last meeting at Kolkata. “Today, I know of his accomplishments, but I don’t have him with me,” said Nandkumar, a lawyer, who has been in Pune with his family since they heard about their son’s death.
Kolkata-based Rajiv and Pune local Vikas Tulsiyani (23) died of their injuries from the Pune blast, taking the toll to 15. Vikas is the first local casualty of the terror blast that destroyed the popular German Bakery on February 13.
Rajiv, a final-year law student at Symbiosis Law College died on Sunday morning, Vikas died at noon. Both had been admitted at Jehangir Hospital.
Of the others who had gone to the bakery with Rajiv, Abhishek Saxena died earlier this week, Rishabh Agarwal is being treated at a hospital in Nashik, and Vinita Pathak was discharged after treatment.
At the Atur Park colony where Vikas lived, in the Koregaon Park area, his friends, relatives and family were gathered, with his mother Madhu and sister Preeti.
Vikas had finished schooling in Dubai, and had returned to India to continue his education. The final-year student of D Y Patil Engineering College lived with his father, sister and brother at Koregaon Park. His father is retired, his mother works in Dubai, a relative said. His mother came to Pune the day after the blast and had been attending to her son. His sister is studying mass communications, his brother is doing a course in hotel management.
Rajiv, known on campus as a brilliant student, had recently passed his Company Secretary exam. Dr Shashikala Gupur, who had taught him, said: “He was a disciplined student, who loved to mobilise others on campus. He had even started a magazine. He had strong leadership skills.”