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Wednesday 17 September 2014
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For Phool Chand's widow, it's Diwali

Sanjay Pandey, Lucknow, Nov 21, 2012, DHNS:

Millions of countrymen might have celebrated Diwali last week but for Sanju Devi, who has not celebrated the festival for the past four years, life was at least partially filled with lights when 26/11 Mumbai terror attack convict Ajmal Amir Kasab was finally hanged on Wednesday morning.

Sanju Devi, who had been praying to God for Kasab’s death ever since her husband Phool Chand, a cab driver, had been killed in the taxi blast triggered by the terrorists on November 26, feels that her prayers have been answered.

Pain reduced

“All these years, I missed my husband and felt his absence at the time of festivals. I never celebrated any festival but now my anguish and pain have lessened as Kasab has got what he deserved,” said Sanju Devi, a resident of Uttar Pradesh’s Allahabad district.


Phool Chand’s family lit earthen lamps in front of his picture and also at their home. Sanju and her family had apprehensions about Kasab escaping from the noose like the Parliament attack case convict Afazal Guru did.

“We had a fear somewhere deep down our hearts that Kasab may also be spared like Afzal Guru. We are thankful to God that he has met his end,” said victim’s brother Subhash Chand.

No earner

“We had to face a lot of problems after my husband’s death. He was the sole bread earner but we somehow managed. Now I am very happy,” she said. She added, “He killed my husband, he too had to die.”

Sanju Devi may be rejoicing at Kasab’s hanging but she is not at all happy with the kind of treatment meted out to her by the governments of Maharashtra and Uttar Pradesh after the tragic death of her husband.

No relief

Sanju said the then Uttar Pradesh chief minister Mayawati had announced financial assistance of Rs 2 lakh to her but the promise is yet to be fulfilled.

“I have received only Rs 50,000 so far,” she said. Sanju Devi is also sore at  Maharashtra government for not honouring its promise to give her a piece of land.

“The government has not kept its promise,” she said.

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