Little sense of closure to victims of 1993 Mumbai blasts

A man paying homage to the victims of 1993 Mumbai serial bomb blasts at Century Bazar, one of the blast sites, in Mumbai on Thursday.  

The execution of Yakub Memon at the Nagpur jail on Thursday morning ordered by a judicial system 22 years after the horrific 1993 serial bombings has brought little sense of emotional closure to the hapless victims of the bombings.

“I have moved on in life and I wish this would have been completed by the judicial system long back so that I would not have had to deal with this over and over again — every time it came up,” says 29-year-old Deepika Mirchandani, an analyst with a leading U.S.-based financial company, reacting to the hanging of Memon.

Ms. Mirchandani was a 9-year-old school girl when a powerful explosion right below her first floor house suddenly brought in a shower of shards of glass and metal one afternoon at her Century Bazaar residence. She and her 88-year-old grandmother Vinduri Mirchandani were at home when a car parked near a bus stop exploded, killing 113 people, and injuring 227.

The explosion was the worst of the serial bombings as a double-decker bus was caught in the explosion. Her grandmother, who survived the trauma of partition, was hospitalised with 32 glass and shrapnel injuries.

Following the increasingly polarised debate on Yakub Memon’s mercy petitions, Ms. Mirchandani asks from New York, where she now lives: “So now after another 22 years if Tiger is found — how long will it take to have the mastermind punished — another 30-odd years or more?” She added, “So, basically, if I am living or dead, I will not be allowed to lay this to rest — till everyone is hanged? This seems to be a never-ending ordeal.”

Suresh More (62), the manager of an electronics showroom in the same building in Worli, also echoes the sentiment: “Why did the victims have to wait so long for justice?” Mr. More was injured in the explosion, and lay unconscious for several minutes. “I cannot ever forget the sight of that blood-splattered double-decker bus lying in pieces,” he said.

Sanjay Bhandari, who works in an adjacent showroom selling airconditioners, lost his brother in the explosion, and had to take loans to restart the showroom that was badly destroyed. “This punishment has come too late. Can it be called justice if it is given after 22 years?” Mr. Bhandari asked.

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Printable version | Feb 23, 2021 2:29:25 PM |

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