Explosion still haunts Punekars

Explosion still haunts Punekars

Suddenly, there was a deafening sound. A bomb, hidden in a bag and kept underneath a table went off. The bakery and the adjacent building shook violently due to the impact of the blast, while screams and cries filled the air.

The scene was horrific. The ground floor of the bakery was covered in a pool of blood and bodies lay strewn around. Some bodies had been flung out on the main road.
 Those who had been injured were crying in pain and seeking help. The tables and chairs were lying shattered.

 “Everybody thought it was a cylinder blast. When we reached there, we saw people crying, many of them trapped under tables and chairs, bodies were lying here and there. It was shocking,” said a local Shiv Sena activist Prakash Barge.

Rescue work
He called the fire brigade from his mobile phone, and began rescue work along with his colleagues. That evening, Prakash lifted bodies of victims and collected body parts in bedsheets. By that time, the fire brigade personnel reached.

“It was terrible to see, but soon we plunged into work. We stopped autorickshaws and asked them to ferry the injured to hospitals. Those who refused, we forced them to help,” he recounted.

In all, 17 persons mostly young boys and girls, including some foreigners, were killed in the incident.

“I saw an injured person caught between the compound wall of the bakery and a signboard at the entrance from the lane. He was removed after the board was cut by the fire brigade. I took two injured persons to Ruby Hall,” said Sadiq, who drives an authorickshaw.

But the worst image he cannot forget even now was a victim who was crying with terrible pain and burning injuries. “I cannot forget that image even now,” he said.  
Just across the German Bakery is an orthodox Jewish centre, called Chhabad House. And the lane adjacent to that goes to Osho Commune. Both of these sites were surveyed by Pakistan-born American terrorist David Headley, who had visited India several times before the 26/11 terror attacks in Mumbai.

Chhabad House in Pune was reportedly his main target. But tight security around the Chhabad House and the Osho Commune made it difficult for terror masterminds to carry out attack there. So a soft target was chosen.