Living with the pain

35-year-old Santosh Vir still literally carries the horror of 26/11 with him every day, as a piece of metal from a grenade hurled at him from Nariman House remains lodged in his right leg

It has been three years since the day terrorists changed this city forever. Reels of newsprint were dedicated to the tragedy but as time passed, the event was relegated to the back of people's minds.

Still hurting: Santosh Vir says he feels betrayed as the government is
yet to take action against the terrorists who killed his friend and left him

But for 35-year-old Santosh Vir, the 26/11 attack will be a pain he has to burden for his entire life as a piece of shrapnel is still lodged in his right leg after terrorists hurled grenades at him. "Even today when I walk past Nariman House, I experience excruciating pain of the injuries and memories attached to that day."

Santosh Vir was injured when terrorists captured Nariman House at Colaba and threw grenades at him and his friends.

Recounting the horror of that day, Vir said, "We were watching the India-England match on television and heard sounds emerging from Nariman House. My friends and I thought that the people living there were bursting crackers and hence we began pelting stones at them. But suddenly, out of nowhere, a grenade was hurled at us which was followed by indiscriminate shooting. We were stunned and in our moment of shock, my friend Harsh Gohil was shot at."

Vir added that the shot turned fatal for Gohil as he was declared dead on arrival when they rushed him to a hospital. "It wasn't the government but our friends and family that helped us. Even the compensation provided to us is no substitute for the immense pain we have endured," added an embittered Vir, who was hospitalised for 15 days for a leg injury he sustained because of the grenade.

Vir added that even today he feels betrayed, as the terrorists still remain unpunished for their crimes.

"Remembering 26/11 makes my blood boil. We work hard and try to move on but our lives seem to have no significance when compared to those of terrorists," he said, adding that the only worry he had if he lost his life was who would care for his wife and his 11-year-old son.



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