Saturday, October 4, 2008

Malegaon blast: changing horses in the mid stream

By Mustafa Khan

Malegaon, Oct 5, 2008: In the bomb blast at Bhiku chowk on September 29 2008 more than five people died including a ten-year-old girl, Farheen. The people around were very much angered by the inaction of the police and resorted to protesting and pelting the police as a result the police opened fire and a man lost his life and some others received bullet injury. In all some hundred people were injured.

The cause of the anger of the people is central to the whole drama that turned it into a grim Greek tragedy. The residents and shopkeepers of the chowk had discovered an abandoned motor bike and reported the matter to the police at the police chowki located cheek by jowl from the blast site. The cops dilly-dallied and told the people that the handle was locked albeit they tried to move and shake the bike. But they left it there. It was the tragic flaw. That was early evening of Monday. After sunset crowd swelled around for shopping and refreshment. At 9.30 the special prayers of the recital of the holy book that had attracted huge crowd was over. The worshippers as usual were moving to the chowk. That was when the bomb was set to go off. It went off with a big bang and the nearby hotel stove caught fire, as the balls from the improvised explosive device must have pierced the gas cylinder.

The tragic realization that the police did not seriously take their concern for the abandoned vehicle produced a chemistry of change as their blood boiled at the preventable terrific murder and mayhem. This much is not to say that the people are justified to take the law in their hand. There were sane people among the crowd. Faheem Siddiqui, the local reporter of Urdu Times along with the SP Sanjay Patil tried to reason with the crowd. He was overwhelmed and fell down and was trampled under feet and injured.

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