Families of victims and those injured in the 2005 serial blasts in Delhi voiced deep disappointment after a trial court on Thursday let off all three accused in the terror attack case.
They said that justice was not served to them.
The October 29, 2005, bombings that came two days before the festival of Diwali, killed 67 people and injured around 210 others in three explosions in the capital.
Additional Sessions Judge Reetesh Singh on Thursday acquitted Mohammed Hussain Fazili and Mohammed Rafiq Shah of all the charges. The court convicted Tariq Ahmed Dar on terror charges, while acquitting him of the charges of waging war against the state, conspiring, collecting arms, murder and attempt to murder.
The court sentenced Dar to jail for the period already undergone, as he had been in jail since his arrest on November 10, 2005.
The victims of the blasts expressed extreme disappointment and dejection about the court’s decision.
“What kind of a judgement is this? After a period of more than a decade, two of them have been released. They should have been hanged to death. It is really, really sad that that they were not,” Kiran Saluja, wife of blast victim Lal Chand Saluja, told IANS.
Victim Vinod Poddar’s son Karan died, his daughter was badly injured and he himself lost his leg during the blasts.
Poddar feels miserable and unprotected as the government helped him in getting an artificial limb 11 years ago but there hasn’t been any support or aid since then.
“After 11 years, I need these prosthesis to be replaced but the authorities don’t show any cooperation,” he said.
“Those blasts bereaved me. I wasn’t left with anything to live for. I lost my 7-year-old son. I myself got handicapped. My 12-year-daughter got badly injured but I can’t do anything against the government or the terrorists.”
Poddar doesn’t see any point in questioning the judgement as he has “no expectations from the system or the court”.
“How can we question the court’s decision in this country? Nothing will change if we do.
I cannot challenge the system of this country,” he said bitterly.
“The case has been on for past 11 years. The press has been interviewing me since then but I didn’t get justice from today’s judgement,” he added.
DTC bus driver Kuldeep Singh threw a bag containing a ticking bomb out of a crowded bus in Govindpuri moments before it exploded. He saved the lives of 50 bus passengers but took the impact of the blast himself.
The brave man lost his eyesight and the fingers on his right hand. He is hearing impaired.
“I lost my eyes. My wife was 8-months-pregnant. I haven’t ever seen my son’s face. It is really sad but I also feel pride that I saved so many others.”
“I wanted the accused to be hanged in public. Such people (terrorists) take some amount of money and kill innocents. I would have been satisfied if they were hanged. The court’s judgement is very sad,” he said.
Another victim, who lost her parents and her brother, also questioned the judgement, saying: “This is what we have attained after so long. Why were the two imprisoned for 12 years if they had to be ultimately acquitted?”
“There is huge disappointment with the system and the law. We hoped that the right amount of punishment would be given to the accused and had to wait for over 11 years for such a hopeless decision,” 20-year-old Manisha Michael told IANS.
“We can’t close the discussion here after this unacceptable verdict. We will appeal to the higher court now.”