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Victims remembered on Delhi blasts anniversary

Family members of those killed in the Sarojini Nagar blasts gathered at the market on Sunday.

india Updated: Oct 29, 2006 16:14 IST

With tears in their eyes and anger in their hearts, family members of those killed in multiple blasts in Delhi gathered at the Sarojini Nagar market on Sunday to pay respect to their loved ones on the first anniversary of the terror strike.

"Life has completely changed for us in the past one year," said Bhagwan Das, whose son Michael John Das, daughter-in-law Sunita and granddaughter Elwin were among the 40 people killed after the bomb explosion at the bustling Sarojini Nagar market few days before Diwali last year.

"They had come to the market for Diwali shopping," he said.

"Earlier we were a family of six but now we are only three left. We have still not been able to move on after the tragedy. My wife continues to be in a state of depression and her health is deteriorating every day," said Das as tears rolled down his eyes.

"We have organised a puja ceremony to pray for them so that their souls rest in peace."

He, however, added: "It is not easy to live when you know that those who killed your children have not been punished."

Three blasts had rocked the capital on that Saturday evening, three days ahead of the Hindu festival of lights when shoppers were busy with pre-Diwali shopping.

The first explosion took place in the Paharganj market, the second at the Sarojini Nagar market and the third in a public bus in Govindpuri, killing at least 60 people in all and injuring more than 200.

Among those who had come to pay their respects to the victims was Kuldeep Singh, the conductor of the ill-fated bus, who lost his eyesight while trying to throw away the bomb. His prompt action saved the lives of at least 70 passengers who were returning home after work.

"Though I have lost my eyesight and my right hand in the blast, I have the satisfaction that I succeeded in saving the lives of many people," said Kuldeep Singh.

"Doctors have said that I might be able to regain sight in my right eye after the treatment is completed," he said.

Many of those gathered at the prayer meet were unhappy, as the conspirators behind the dastardly act have not been punished even after a year.

"We want justice from the government. Why have they not taken any action against those involved in the blast?" asked Kavita Bhasin, who lost her mother, a sister and niece in the 29/10 blast.

"These people who roam around in police protection have no value for the lives of innocent people who are killed in such cowardly acts," she added.

"The only thing given to us is (compensation) money. We are not beggars, we will contribute money and give it to ministers if their family members are killed by terrorists," she added before breaking down in tears.

"They (politicians) have no respect for human lives. They have insulted our family members by not taking any action to nab those involved in the blast," she said.

Similar reactions came from Manisha who lost her eight-month-old daughter in the blast.

"It is painful to see that the government has done little to prevent such attacks. We have lost our loved ones and we want those involved in the blast to be brought to the book."

"We want justice for them so that their souls can rest in peace," she said.

First Published: Oct 29, 2006 16:14 IST