Delhi serial blasts case: A 12-year wait comes to nought

Families of 2005 Delhi blast victims plan to appeal in Delhi HC

Updated - February 17, 2017 04:15 am IST

Published - February 17, 2017 01:05 am IST - NEW DELHI

Disheartened  Family members of the blast victims outside Patiala House Courts in New Delhi on Thursday.

Disheartened Family members of the blast victims outside Patiala House Courts in New Delhi on Thursday.

“I have lost faith in our [judicial] system today. I waited all this while to see the accused get punished. I will continue my fight till justice is served,” 20-year-old Manisha Micheal, who lost her parents and elder brother in the 2005 blasts, said on Thursday.

Manisha remembers little about the afternoon of October 29, 2005. It was the last time the then 8-year-old saw her family alive before they left for Sarojini Nagar.

Manisha and her 72-year-old grandmother Celina Das reached the Patiala House Courts hours before the verdict was scheduled. However, her 12-year-wait ended in “disappointment” after the court acquitted the accused.

The victims’ families plan to appeal against the verdict before the Delhi High Court. Sarojini Nagar was one of the three locations, besides Govindpuri and Paharganj, where bombs had been planted. Over 60 people were killed and 200 injured. Manisha’s father Micheal Das (42), mother Babli Das (35) and brother Alvin Das (18) were among these victims.

“I was confident that these men would be convicted. When we reached [the court], there was talk about the accused being acquitted. I was sure we won’t be let down, but ultimately what everyone said happened,” the hotel management student said.

Her grandmother broke down after the verdict. “The men who killed my family were let off in front of my eyes. That moment was more painful than the moment I learnt about their deaths,” she said.

The Das family was not the only family left disappointed.

“The accused should’ve been hanged. We’ve lost everything. Instead of granting us justice, they just let these terrorists go,” said Kiran Saluja, wife of Lal Chand Saluja, the owner of Shyam Juice Corner in Sarojini Nagar where the bomb was planted.

Chotu Yadav, an employee at the shop, was the first to spot the abandoned bag that contained the bomb.

“I informed Lal Chand bhaiya about the bag. We looked around for customers who might’ve forgotten their bag. He took the bag from me and was going to give it to the police when the bomb went off. I was flung in a corner due to the impact, while his body was ripped in pieces,” he recalled.

Blast survivor Ashok Randhawa, who is also the president of Sarojini Nagar Mini Market Traders’ Association, said: “We have formed an association of blast victims. We will take up the matter with the higher courts. The lives of terrorists are important, but the lives of the common man hold no value?”

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