“Only those who have lost a dear one will understand the satisfaction from Yakub Memon’s death sentence,” said Vinayak Devrukhkar, who lost his 19-year-old sister, Shashikala and 11-year-old brother Vasant in the blast at Century Bazar in Worli. “Justice has finally been served,” said Devrukhkar, 36, who now lives in Vashi, Navi Mumbai.
For victims of the blast and relatives of those who died, the execution of the only blast convict on death row gives them a sense of justice served albeit a bit late. “The government has given a sense of confidence to my family after 22 years. I am sure the other perpetrators will be tracked down as well,” said Devrukhkar.
Relatives of some victims, however, rue the delay in court proceedings. Ramesh Jeswani, a shop owner at Century Bazaar, who lost his brother in the blast, said, “The verdict is completely justified but it has been delayed. The decision now only reminds us of incidents that we want to forget,” said Jeswani.
“Hanging just one culprit can never compensate for the number of deaths I saw that day,” said H Parmesha Gowda, 48, currently runs the shop opposite the Bombay Stock Exchange building. “For me justice will only be served when all the culprits are hanged,” he said.
When the second bomb went off at a Worli bus stop, Kamla Malkani, now 63, was inside the beauty parlour that she managed. “Every time there is a loud sound, I remember the blast,” she said. “One of my clients died at the bus stand. I was in a semi-conscious state and my parlour was full of blood,” said a teary-eyed Malkani.
Kirti Ajmera, a stock broker, was near the Bombay Stock Exchange building when the bomb exploded. He was left with rib cage broken, lungs, face and limbs pierced with metal and glass shards and the right side of his body disfigured for which he underwent several surgeries. “After the Supreme Court’s decision, I can finally feel that my wounds have started healing,” said Ajmera, now 59.
“It has been a long wait but the real perpetrators are still at large and if the judiciary is right, as we have seen with the recent verdict, others should be prosecuted as well,” said Malkani.