'I'm happy the government has finally hanged Kasab'
Rediff.com's A Ganesh Nadar speaks to three victims of Mumbai's 26/11 terror attack, as they react to LeT terrorist Ajmal Kasab's hanging.
Bablu Kumar Deepak is an announcer with the Central Railway at CST station in Mumbai. On the night of the 26/11 terror attack he was on duty at the long distance terminal. He was welcoming the Indrayani Express from Pune when all hell broke loose.
Bablu recollects with horror, "First he (Kasab) threw a grenade and then fired from an automatic gun for more than three minutes. There was smoke everywhere and I could hear the screams of the dying and injured. It was a scene straight out of hell and I was shivering with fear. I announced that passengers who had passengers should exit the station from the other end as there was a gunfight on the main platform.
I then called the chief announcer to tell him what was happening. I also informed Vishnu Zende, who was the announcer for local trains.
Today I am happy the government has finally hanged Kasab. We have waited too long; they should have done it a much before. What he (Kasab) did was caught on camera, what more proof was needed?
The government dragged the case for four long years. And finally they have done it. Thank God for that.
The victims will at least feel happy that the man who caused them so much grief is dead. It won't bring back the dead but it will make the relatives and friends feel better. Finally Ajmal Kasab paid for his sins.
Click NEXT to read further...
Image: Bablu Kumar Deepak (right) receives an award from the divisional railways manager.
'Kasab should have been hanged at CST station'
Anita Vaghela witnessed her young brother-in-law Thakur Vaghela being shot dead by Ajmal Kasab.
"They (terrorists) asked us for water. My jeth gave them water and then they shot Thakur," says Anita.
This happened in the lane between The Times of India office and St Xaviers College, right next to the police commissioner's office.
"I was forced to watch my 32-year-old brother-in-law die in front of my eyes, why was I not allowed to watch the man who shot him die? Why this secrecy behind his hanging? Even my husband is very angry. Why were we scared of hanging him? Why was he not hanged in public?" asks Anita.
"They showed him shooting people live on television. Why can't his hanging be shown on TV? It should have been at CST station; that would have been justice for my jeth," adds Anita.
"My jeth has three small children and my brother-in-law used to work at GT hospital. His wife and children are in Sion. Why don't you go and meet them? They are also unhappy with this secret hanging," she says.
Anita Vaghela clearly thinks that the government behaved in a cowardly manner.
Click NEXT to read further...
Image: Thakur Vaghela's father Budhabhai Jethabhai Vaghela at his house behind Cama hospital
Photographs: Uttam Ghosh/Rediff.com
'Justice will be served only if masterminds in Pak are punished'
Maruti Phad was driver before he lost his finger and rendered his right hand useless when Kasab shot him. He now works as a clerk.
On 26/11, when the shootout was still on, Maruti's boss, the secretary for medical education, called him saying that a lot of people were being taken to government hospitals and he was required to report for duty.
"I did not hesitate and immediately left home with the car. I live near St Xaviers college. When I left the lane and came on the main road that connects Metro to CST, I saw the terrorists on the pavement," Maruti recollects.
"They were heavily armed. I ducked and put the car into reverse. They fired and a bullet hit my palm as I was holding the steering wheel. Another bullet ricocheted and pierced my hip."
"I locked the doors. They came near and saw me. My head and face was covered in blood. I froze. They thought I was dead and went ahead," he says.
"A police vehicle arrived at the site. Now we know it was Additional Commissioner Ashok Kamte who was in it. He shot at the terrorist he saw in front of his car, but did not realise that another terrorist was standing next to the car. The terrorist sprayed bullets... they did not stand a chance," adds Maruti.
Reacting to the hanging of Ajmal Kasab, Maruti Phad says, justice will be served only if the masterminds in Pakistan are hunted down and punished. "People have to realise that you cannot get away with terror against India. They have to be punished and only then will they get scared of trying anything like this again," he says.
Image: A 26/11 terror survivor Maruti Phad
Photographs: A Ganesh Nadar/Rediff.com