Sushanta Talukdar

Victims of Thursday’s blasts are yet to recover from the trauma

Guwahati: The last time Azamat Ali of Deuchar in Kamrup district slept was on the night before the serial blast in the State. Mr. Ali had just bought a stamp paper for registering a land purchase deed in the Court of the Chief Judicial Magistrate (CJM) here on October 30 when the powerful blast left him unconscious.

He does not remember exactly what happened after that. When he regained consciousness, he was at Mahendra Mohan Choudhury Hospital where doctors treated him for splinter injuries on the neck and on his back.

Now every time the 50-year-old farmer tries to sleep, everything around him starts moving and the deafening sound of Thursday’s blast reverberates in his ears.

“I have not been able to sleep. So I keep sitting on this hospital bed during the day and all through the night. I don’t know if I will ever be able to sleep again.”

Ali has five sons and three daughters.

Blurred vision

On another bed in the same ward lies Bhabesh Baishya. He had gone to the Deputy Commissioner’s office next to the CJM court in connection with an Excise Department work when the blast took place.

“Whenever I close my eyes, particularly during the night, I feel giddy and I hear the deafening sound. I have difficulty reading… my vision gets blurred,” said the 30-year-old, an employee of a restaurant-cum-bar.

Assam Health Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said that a team of trauma specialists from the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) would be flown in on Tuesday to treat traumatised patients.

Dr. Sarma said 826 people were injured in the serial blasts. About 360 were admitted to hospitals, while the others were discharged after being administered first aid.

The official death toll so far was 80. The condition of three of the injured was stated to be critical.

Two persons succumbed to injuries at the Guwahati Neurological Research Centre Hospital on Monday morning.

Ex-gratia at home

Dr. Sarma said that the ex-gratia of Rs. 3 lakh announced by the State government would be handed to the relatives at their homes. They would not have to run from pillar to post, as was the case in the past.

State government officials would also go to Meghalaya and Nagaland to hand over the payment to victims from these States.

The State government had handed over the ex-gratia of Rs. 50000 to 64 injured at the time of their discharge from hospitals on Sunday.

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