Soon after the verdict was delivered by the Sessions Court yesterday, MiD DAY contacted some of the people affected by the blasts to gauge their reaction. They all had one request in common; the perpetrator of this ghastly act should be handed the maximum punishment so that no one should dare hatch a conspiracy again.
Sadhana Turakhiya, wife of blast survivor Bharat Turakhiya, said that the lone person arrested in the case who was found guilty by the court of law is just a pawn and that the big names of the terror network are still at large. “Rather than punishing one person, there should be efforts to root out terrorism,” said Sadhana. 55-year-old businessman Bharat sustained severe splinter injuries and has undergone five operations till date to remove the fragments lodged in his body.
Narrating the sequence of event on that dreaded day, Sadhana said, “Bharat never missed having tea with his friends at German Bakery and on that fateful day he was with his friends when the blast ripped the premise apart. Bharat sustained serious injuries, but he continued to help others and even assisted in removing the gas cylinders from the bakery.
” She added, “After sometime, he rushed home, removed his blood soaked shirt and stood at the door thinking that after seeing his condition, I would fall sick. He kept calm and only told me that he needed immediate hospitalisation.” Sadhana said that Bharat has resumed his business, but he cannot do the all the activities like before, as he has become weak. Gopal Karki, the manager at the bakery, said, “I have lost everything. I am still traumatised by the incident, as the blast rendered me homeless, snatching away my only source of livelihood.”
Karki said that the perpetrators of this heinous crime should get such stringent punishment so that there won’t be any future attempts. He said that he misses Pune and would love to come back and start a bakery of his own. Karki, who also suffered huge financial losses, said, “I know that the patrons of the bakery miss the delicacies served there, and if given an opportunity I would love to serve them again.”
For 43-year-old auto rickshaw driver Hanumant Sitaram Kute, the events that unfolded on that fateful evening are still fresh in his mind. Kute said that three years have passed but life in Koregaon Park has not been the same again. The act of terror has instilled fear in the residents and foreign nationals.
“It all happened when I was waiting for passengers to hire my auto at our usual rickshaw stand, which is in the lane adjacent to bakery. At around 6.45 pm, I heard a deafening sound and at first I thought that it was a cylinder blast. But, half-an-hour later, we got to know that it was a bomb blast. The intensity was so high that limbs and legs lay strewn on the entire road opposite the bakery. The heart-wrenching sight made me numb, “said Kute.
He added that his family members broke through several barricades, got hold of him and took him back to their house. “The perpetrators of this heinous act should get maximum punishment. This horrible act has chased away the foreign tourists from the city that used to come here for spiritual retreats. Several shops selling Knick-knacks to foreigners are also suffering a setback to their businesses.”