On the dreadful day, RTC driver Shaik Jani Pasha rushed to the blast sites to help the injured and shifted them to hospital, saving many lives
The memory refuses to fade away. It is over a month, but the pathetic sight of a young girl dying in his arms keeps flashing in his mind.
“She breathed her last in my arms as I was shifting her into a bus. I felt wretched,” said Shaik Jani Pasha, an RTC driver, as he recalled the scenes from the twin blasts at Dilsukhnagar on February 21.
On the dreadful day, when most ran helter-skelter after the bombs went off, Pasha rushed to the site to help the injured. In fact, it was his initiative that saved many lives.
As the blast at Anand tiffin centre ripped through the market, motorcycles flew up in the air, and people fell apart. “It was like an action scene from an English movie, and soon bodies were strewn all over,” he recalled with a shudder.
“Even before I could react, another blast occurred at the 107 bus stop. Fire and smoke enveloped the site at Anand tiffin centre, and I ran towards the bus stop. People were injured badly and were crying in shock and pain,” Mr. Pasha said.
It was his weekly off, and he was having tea at the Dilsukhnagar bus stand when the blasts occurred. Immediately, he called up Malakpet Police Inspector N. Satyanarayana and later Dilsukhnagar RTC Depot Manager Chiranjeevi.
“I informed them that I was shifting the injured into buses and sending them to hospital. Time was crucial,” recalled the 44-year-old. The sight of two children, aged about two years, crying near their mother moved him.
He stopped a Metro Express bus and two ordinary buses heading towards Koti and shifted the injured into them. “I made sure that all the injured were shifted immediately, and students from nearby hostels also helped me. Thankfully, police ensured that the buses had a clear passage,” he said.
Meanwhile, Chiranjeevi pointed out that had he waited for an ambulance instead of using the buses, casualties would have been higher. A resident of Kothapet, Mr. Pasha volunteers in organising services at Sai Baba Temple every Thursday.
“Just days before the blast, police had instructed all pushcart vendors and others near Venkatdri theatre to shift their operations. This saved many lives as there was not much of pedestrian traffic on the fateful day,” he reminisced.
Lauding Mr. Pasha’s initiative, APSRTC Vice-Chairman and MD A.K. Khan on Saturday presented him a cash award of Rs. 25,000 and an appreciation letter.