Victims and survivors of the 2006 Mumbai train bombings on Friday demanded death penalty for the 12 of the 13 convicted by a Special Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act Court.
Though they survived the powerful explosions on July 11, 2006, surviving with their injuries – vision and hearing impairment to spinal injuries and limb amputations – has been their biggest challenge as the government left them to fend for themselves after paying the official compensation. Now that the verdict has been delivered after nine years, many of them had stoic responses. Most of these survivors who were heading home from work on the fateful day, a journey that was delayed by several days, weeks and even months spent recuperating in hospitals.
“It is hard to have faith in the system when it takes nine years for a trial to conclude. With the accused now exercising their legal options, it might well be another long road till justice is delivered. How will the deterrence come if this is the speed at which our judiciary moves? Even now a shiver is sent down my spine when I think about that day,” one of the survivors, Rajesh Jha told The Hindu .
Suhas Tawde’s both eardrums were damaged and shards triggered by the explosion entered his eyes causing them to bleed in a moving train between Bandra to Khar. Reacting on the verdict, Mr. Tawde said that he wants the handlers in Pakistan to be punished “just the way Ajmal Kasab (26/11 gunman) was punished.”
Keyur Ponda, who like his father Mahesh was left with impaired hearing, said “Whatever happened has happened, it can’t be undone now no matter what punishment is awarded to the convicts. But the government should ensure that such incidents never happen again.”
Dr. Narsimhan Kamat, who suffered spinal injuries while travelling from Khar to Santacruz, said “The saying ‘Justice delayed is justice denied’ best explains the long time this judgment has taken. Now the court should award them death penalty and they should be executed without any delay. Why should terrorists be spared?”