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Hyderabad blasts: Victims pay the price

Mohammed Siddique and Vicky Nanjappa in Hyderabad | August 25, 2008 17:59 IST

For victims of the Hyderabad blasts, life changed forever on August 25, 2007.

G Sadashiv Reddy and P Badshah came from different backgrounds but were very close friends. Both studied engineering at the Anwarul Uloom College and just when their lives were taking a turn for the good, their dreams were brutally shattered. Both of them are now lying on beds in their homes, two kilometres from each other.

On that fateful evening, the two friends ran in to each other when Reddy was returning home from duty and Badshah was out shopping with his mother. Reddy was working as a design engineer in an electric transformer manufacturing company and Badshah had just returned from Australia [Images] after joining a company as telecom engineer on a huge salary. They headed for Gokul Chat.

Images: Hyderabad twin blasts -- A year later

The bomb that exploded there damaged Sadashiv Reddy's brain and left his whole body paralysed. Badshah's lower body was paralysed after shrapnel from the bomb damaged his spinal cord.

"My brother is now worse than a three-year-old baby. He cannot utter a single word. We are waiting for the day he will start speaking and walking," says Sadashiv's elder brother Srinivas. The doctors have been unable to remove all splinters from his body and there is little hope of any improvement in his condition.

His mother Sujata says that he is so petrified after the incident that he is even scared to see people. Moreover, his vision is a blur and he has completely lost sight in one eye.

Breaking down, she says, "I have brought him up with a lot of love and care and I cannot bear to see him like this. Sometimes I feel that death is better than living like this."

His father Mohan Reddy says that they were given a compensation of Rs 20,000. Sadashiv brother Srinivas Reddy adds that to make matters worse, they were ill-treated at the hospital. "We were told to take him away as they could provide free treatment forever," he says.

The family of Badshah is feeling equally helpless and frustrated. Badshah, whose world came down crashing is angry and refuses to see any visitors including reporters. "What is there to talk. Is there any hope for my recovery?" he shouts.

His father, a lecturer in a local college is reduced to tears. "Now all my hopes are pinned on my younger son Shahed who has completed his engineering".

Both the families are unhappy that the government did not extend any help to them for treatment. "They gave Rs 20,000 and took care of free treatment for five months in a hospital but after were discharged they did nothing. My son needs special treatment which is available only abroad," says Badhshah's father.

The case of Ayesha Sultana and Zainab Begum is even more tragic. They lost their brother, sister-in-law and nephews in the blast. Their brother Mohammad Saleem had gone to Lumbini Park that day. However, they left the place before the blast took place. When Ayesha heard of the blasts she called her brother to find out if he was safe. "He told me that they were out of there and were at Gokul Chats. The second explosion was at Gokul Chats and Saleem was killed along with his wife and children."

Ayesha and Zainab, in their fifties, are inconsolable. "What if left for us in this world. We have lost the purpose of our life. My brother, who was like father to us, died. His wife and two young sons were snatched away. Why don't they (the terrorists) kill us?" asks a hysterical Ayesha. As both the women have lost their husbands few years ago, there is nobody to take care of them and their health is also deteriorating. The government officials are still debating whether the ex-gratia amount of Rs 5 lakh can be given to the sisters as no member of the family has survived.

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