The time is 10.10 p.m., place and date Sriperaumbudur, May 21, 1991. Police sub-inspector Anusuya Daisy Ernest of the Kancheepuram women's division is having a tough time controlling a crowd of women and children pushing closer to one of India's charismatic politicians. Within seconds, a major blast rips through the crowd killing 18 persons and injuring 45.
The assassination of the former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi went into the books of history as one of the darkest chapters of the country and few are around to tell the tale. Police woman Anusuya, who was on duty, miraculously survived the blast but was grievously wounded with disabilities for life.
“I had an extremely painful burning sensation all over my body when I was lying amidst the pile of dead after the blast. I was losing blood and I thought I was going to die. Some policemen carried me to a van and took me to the Government Hospital in Sriperumbudur for treatment and from there I was shifted to the Government General Hospital here,” reminisces the policewoman on her days of pain.
Anusuya was in a critical condition for many days but survived unlike some of the other victims who succumbed to their wounds. She was operated on many times to remove pellets from a bomb that had pierced all over her body. The impact of the blast also left her with just three fingers on her left hand of which one was fixed over a plastic surgery at GH.
“There are still fragments inside my head, hand and rest of my body which could not be removed even after many surgeries that I have had,” adds the officer who was a key eye-witness in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination and was praised for her inputs in solving the case.
In 1995, Anusuya was promoted as Inspector and was inducted into the CBI for the assassination probe. She worked in the Bureau for the next five years and later moved to other departments under the State police.
Anusuya travelled around the country to take part in various security related events and narrated her horrid tale of survival. “All my memories of pain and suffering disappear when people recognise me at various places and I feel very happy,” says the officer who still feels god should have taken her life instead of the man who was the future of India.