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The blasts that shattered dreams
Syed Firdaus Ashraf in Mumbai | July 29, 2003 11:47 IST
Last Updated: July 29, 2003 14:21 IST
Govind Singh, a labourer in a ration shop, had come to Mumbai seven years ago to make ends meet and support his family in Rajasthan.
As he lay in a pool of blood with bandages wrapped around his body, he worried about his loved ones.
Two bombs ripped through a BEST bus in Ghatkopar at 2105 IST Monday.
"I cannot believe that I am lying in this state. I have been routinely taking this bus to go and work at Ghatkopar for the last year. Who could do this to me? What does he get by doing this? If I am admitted for more than a week, I don't know how I would support my wife and two children back in Rajasthan," he said.
Next to him sleeping on the same bed was Sunil Kashiram Pawar, a security personnel of Brihanmumbai Electricity Supply and Transport Undertaking.
"We were put on the same bed. There is no arrangement. I am dying in pain but there are few doctors over here. Another trouble is that there is too much of a crowd in this room and I am feeling suffocated," Pawar said.
Generally there is not much activity in ward 14 of Rajawadi Hospital. General patients, once they have been operated upon, are admitted there. But on Monday night, doctors, social workers, politicians and journalists were rushing to the spot to meet the witnesses and the people who were injured in the blast.
"My children and wife are waiting outside this room. They tell me that there is no space, but all unwanted people are coming and asking me about my health. The least the government can do is make an arrangement for me to speak to my family," rued Pawar.
Singh was more upset because he had not been able to call Rajasthan.
"A social worker gave me his mobile phone and I called one of my cousins in Mumbai to tell him that I am injured badly. I hope he has contacted my family and told them that I am alive," he added.
Haribhau Sakpal, another commuter who owns a printing press in Ghatkopar, could not believe what had happened.
"I was thinking that I was getting late for home in Vikhroli, as it was past 9 o' clock. But suddenly I heard a deafening sound and saw people running here and there. I also thought of running, but soon found that my leg was badly injured and I just could not move. In great pain I just sat there and helplessly watched the horror till somebody came and brought me to the hospital," Sakpal said.
He lifted his pyjama to show his wound. "Isn't this a deep wound? But doctors tell me that they have to treat the more serious patients first, as they may loose lives. The government has not provided us with adequate doctors."
Meanwhile, the politicians who came to visit the doctors had to face ire of Ghatkopar residents.
The Minister of State for Home (Rural), Kripashankar Singh, who had come to assess the situation, was surrounded by a mob. The people shouted at him and asked him to step down, as it was the second blast in Ghatkopar in six months.
Deputy Chief Minister Chhagan Bhujbal was also not spared as the crowd tried to break the police barricade and started shouting slogans.
However, Bhujbal reacted by stating that these things took place in Jammu and Kashmir also and terrorists were determined to disturb the peace in Mumbai.
"The first priority is to get the injured people treated and then we can talk about other things," said Bhujbal before leaving the hospital.
The Member of Parliament from the area, Kirit Somaiya, said, "The state government has failed miserably to protect the lives of ordinary people. They must do something to make people feel secure in their homes."
More reports from Maharashtra
Read about: Telgi case | Mumbai blasts