Abhishek Kumar (24) of Lucknow had a great passion for cars. After completing B.Tech in automobile engineering from the D.Y. Patil College here, he started working with the Automotive Research Association of India six months ago. On Tuesday, though, death snuffed out a bright future, as he succumbed to his injuries sustained in Saturday's blast at the German Bakery here.

The death toll has gone up to 10, with several of the injured continuing to be in intensive care units in various hospitals.

According to professors of his college, Abhishek was very active and often participated in technical events at college festivals. He was a student coordinator of the Society of Automobile Engineers, an international body. He was the only child of his parents and his father died last year, according to his friends, who took the body to the Sassoon Hospital for post-mortem. His mother lives in Lucknow.

On Saturday, Abhishek went to the bakery with four friends - Rajiv Agarwala, Rushabh Agarwal, Sumit Singh and Vinita Pathak. While Vinita escaped with minor injuries, Rushabh, too, was discharged from the Sassoon Hospital. The two were near the entrance, far from the billing counter where the explosion took place.

Abhishek had gone to pay the bill, when it all happened. Rajiv and Sumit remain critical, one in the Jehangir Hospital and the other at Inlaks Budhrani. Abhishek's friends, who looked after him for two days since the blast, are hurt not just by his death but also by the long procedure involved in their getting custody of the body.

Abhishek was admitted to the Inlaks Budhrani Hospital. Following his death, the body had to be brought to the government-run Sassoon Hospital for post-mortem. A police panchnama had to be completed, followed by a fair bit of official procedures.

"We have to take the body to Lucknow. If delayed, it will start decaying. The government should quicken the whole process," says a friend.

Abhishek's family will eventually receive compensation, but his friends say that does not matter. "We are all students who have come to Pune to study from different parts of the country," says a friend. "We don't want a good compensation. We just want our intelligence services to be efficient so that such attacks that target students can be prevented."

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