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'People were running over bodies in panic'
Farhan Ahmed in Malegaon | September 08, 2006 20:45 IST
Our Friday prayer at Bada Kabristan begins at 1.45 pm. Nearly 10,000 people congregate every Friday to pray here, one of the biggest Muslim graveyards in Malegaon.
Friday is an official holiday in Malegaon because nearly 3 lakh Muslims live here. Sunday is a working day in this textile town.
Today being Shabe Barat, 20,000 people had assembled to pray. At 1.55 pm, the prayer just got over and the blasts occurred. There were two simultaneous blasts near the entrance of the Bada Kabristan (Official sources say only one blast occurred here).
Most of the people who suffered were beggars and children. The reason being that the bombs were kept at the entrance of the graveyard where the beggars generally sit and the children suffered because they were the ones to leave after the prayers ended.
Nobody knew what happened. The sound was deafening and people started running in panic. To save their lives they were running over dead bodies because they felt there would be more explosions. I saw blood and dead bodies everywhere. I didn't know what to do. I too ran out just like the others.
There was little police presence because Shabe Barat is normally a peaceful occasion in Malegaon.
After most of the people came out, there was another blast behind the graveyard in the Mushawarat Chowk area.
Again everyone started running and no one knew what was going on. The public got angry and scared as they felt there would be more blasts. At one point they were confused on whether to save their lives or take the injured to hospital. A fear psychosis gripped everyone.
Some people vented their anger on the few policemen present. They were pushed and one of the police vehicles was turned upside down by the angry crowd. Some policemen were injured too in the blasts.
After the third blast, ambulances started arriving and the injured were shifted to hospitals. I am unsure if people will got to the graveyard to pray on Shabe Barat in Malegaon because the situation is very tense.
As I speak Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister R R Patil has arrived. I only hope normalcy returns soon.