Uneasy calm pervades university town Pune

Uneasy calm pervades university town Pune

Foreign students unsure about staying in the city after terror attack

Uneasy calm pervades university town Pune

The death of 26-year old Saeed Abdolkhani, an Iranian student who was at German Bakery, has shaken the student community from abroad. An estimated 20,000 foreign students are in Pune, most of them from Africa as well as the Middle East and the West on various exchange programmes.

For nearly 18 hours, Saeed’s Iranian friends had been running from one hospital to another, looking for their friend who went missing after the blast. They finally found him around 2.30 pm on Sunday at the Sassoon Hospital morgue.

Saeed was learning English at Symbiosis College and stayed in a rented flat a few blocks away.

He had told his roommates around 7 pm on Saturday that he was going to the bakery for a cup of coffee. Around 7.30 pm, after hearing a loud noise, his friends had rushed downstairs to locate him.  “We could not locate Saeed among the injured. As the injured and the dead were being taken to hospitals, we followed them,” Adel Kaab, an Iranian student of Brihan Maharashtra College of Commerce (BMCC) said.

The incident has hit the foreign students hard.

“We just have to be careful about not going to crowded places. I think its better not to tell my family that something bad happened. They will think the whole of Pune is dangerous if I tell them there was a bomb blast in one cafe,” said Mariam, a Palestine student in the university.

The students were aware about terror attacks that happened in Mumbai on 26/11 but many thought that these things “happened only in Mumbai,” said Kettie, another Iranian student.

Saturday’s bombing has stunned her beyond belief. “It could have been me,” a terrified Kettie said.

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