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A double tragedy

Rafiq’s family got Rs 6 lakh in relief grants from the state government for the two deceased. A report by Digambar Patowary.

india Updated: May 18, 2008, 00:36 IST
Digambar Patowary
Digambar Patowary
Hindustan Times

It’s not just in Jaipur that the miscreants strapped their bombs to bicycles. Almost a year back, a powerful bomb went off near the Machkhowa mosque and bazaar in Assam’s capital. It must have been sheer coincidence, but most of the seven who were killed by the blast that early Saturday morning were sole bread-earners for their families. Among them was Rafiq Ahmed, 46, owner of a small chai-bhaji stall nearby. With him perished his 12-year-old son Toufiq.

The tragedy plunged Rafiq’s remaining family of five into an abyss they haven’t emerged from yet. They got Rs 6 lakh in relief grants from the state government for the two deceased. But there was no cash-flow to run the household. <b1>

Rafiq’s wife Monowara Begum says, “Who will be benefit from killing my husband and son? Life has been very tough for us since their departure. There’s no daily income. We are spending the grant money to meet daily expenditure.”

Mofiz, Rafiq’s 15-year-old eldest son, who appeared in his Class X finals this year, says, “My father used to sell puri-bhaji in the morning and pakoras in the evening at his stall… Ever since the day of the blast, I face an uphill struggle in running my family. I am helpless and am thinking of giving up my studies. I think I will start a small business in the area.” Monowara said on the Jaipur blasts: “We seem to be headed down a one-way street — one along which there will surely be more violence.”

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