Blood and diamonds on Mumbai road
Diamond merchants and traders in Opera House fear Wednesday’s blast could have led to diamonds being lost. With a few traders dead and many injured in the attack, there is also the possibility of jokham (as diamonds are referred to in trader parlance) they may have been carrying lying on the street. Kunal Purohit reports.mumbai Updated: Jul 15, 2011 08:08 IST
Diamond merchants and traders in Opera House fear Wednesday’s blast could have led to diamonds being lost. With a few traders dead and many injured in the attack, there is also the possibility of jokham (as diamonds are referred to in trader parlance) they may have been carrying lying on the street.
Traders said the timing of the blast (6.50pm) made such prospects all the more likely.
Diamond trader Prateek Patel said, “After 5.30pm, a lot of traders come back to their offices with unsold diamonds. Most of these traders carry the diamonds in their pockets. A lot of traders were injured, while many others started fleeing from the area. We fear many diamonds may have fallen on the ground.”
Insiders said traders generally carried diamonds, irrespective of their size, in packets.
Patel said, “The worth of these packets can range from a few lakhs to a few crores. These packets are first taken to prospective buyers throughout the day. Once the day ends, traders bring these packets back to their offices. That’s the time this blast occurred.”
Another diamond trader Pinal Patel said the damage would be known once the market reopened.
“Since the incident, all these offices in and around Panchratna have remained shut. Right now, it is very difficult to estimate the exact quantum of loss.”
Local trader Kunal Mehta said, “As soon as the incident happened, all of us fled from the spot without keeping our diamonds in vaults. Most of our diamonds are still lying scattered around the office.”
Diamond merchant Hardik Hundiya said many traders had discreetly approached the police for help in recovering the diamonds scattered on the road.
“Many traders, who feared they might have lost their diamonds have approached the cops. The cops have assured us all the diamonds found on the spot will be returned to their rightful owners.”