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‘Incident still haunts me’

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PICTURE OF AGONY: Raheem and his daughter Chinni recollect their escape from the blast at Gokul Chat
PICTURE OF AGONY: Raheem and his daughter Chinni recollect their escape from the blast at Gokul Chat

M. Srinivas

The injured grapple with the ‘Black Saturday’ trauma

HYDERABAD: Thirty-five days after, the deafening sound of the blast still echoes in their minds. Sleep continues to evade them as the injured grapple with the ‘Black Saturday’ trauma.

Forty-three people died and 54 were injured in the twin blasts that ripped through Lumbini Park and Gokul Chat.

For 18-year-old Chinni, the day haunts her so much that she is scared of even a low-intensity fire cracker sound at her house in Green Park Colony, Saroornagar. Strewn slippers, bags, bangles, blood-soaked bodies were found minutes after she entered Gokul Chat to search for her father. A woman with blood oozing from her head caught Chinni’s hand, seeking help. Later, when Chinni tried to help another person, his hand came out, dislodged from the shoulder.

With great difficulty, she managed to trace her father, Raheem, with a metal object pierced in his left eye. She removed the object with her hands and shifted him to the Osmania General Hospital. “It all happened within seconds. I was waiting in an auto rickshaw outside the eatery, while my father went to bring ‘kulfi’ (ice-cream) for me when I heard a deafening thud and then passers-by started running helter-skelter” Chinni who is pursuing a beautician course recalled.

Ever since, she feels lonely and wakes-up suddenly at nights. Raheem’s left eye was completely damaged. He also suffered a serious head injury after steel balls used by terrorists in the bomb as shrapnel were embedded in the skull.

It was a different story with Sravanti from Uppal. With three of her family, she had bought ‘rakhis’ and gone to the Chat Bhandar for samosas. She escaped with minor injuries, while her three relatives died in front of her eyes. “The gory incident is still fresh for me”, she narrated.

A tiffin centre owner D. Satyanarayana from Nallakunta and his relatives Shankar Rao and Vijaya Laxmi went for mirchis and survived with injuries. “We are trying to overcome the shock,” Satyanarayana said.

Psychologists, however, attributed this as a stress-traumatic disorder caused after witnessing a shocking incident. “Supportive psycho-therapy and de-sensitisation techniques will help restore normalcy,” explained Dr. K. Niranjan Reddy.


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