Samjhutta Express blast victims buried in an unkempt graveyardFebruary 18th, 2008 - 5:29 pm ICT by admin
Panipat (Haryana), Feb 18 (ANI): The graveyard in Panipat, Haryana, where 29 Pakistani victims of the Samjhauta Express train blast lie buried, continues to be in a state of neglect even a year after the incident.
The bodies of the Pakistani passengers, many of whom were burnt beyond recognition, were buried at the Mehrana village graveyard near Panipat after consulting relatives and Haryana Waqf Board officials.
Residents have demanded that the graveyard be properly maintained and each grave should be provided with a tombstone with the name of the deceased.
They said the present practice of identifying each grave with a number was an insult to the deceased.
Relatives of the deceased expressed their anguish over the neglect.
“The dead bodies have been claimed but still there are no nameplates. These numbers should be removed from the graves and a proper nameplate should be engraved. Stones are already in bad shape and will get worst in few more days,” said Ameed Ahmad, a resident.
The caretaker of the graveyard also lamented the apathy of the authorities.
“Earlier, they had decided that a museum should be built here, but then nothing has been done. Atleast a boundary wall should be made because stray animals come here and create a mess,” said Sakoor Ahmad, the graveyard’s caretaker.
Two home-made bombs ripped the Samjhuta Express carrying around 527 passengers from New Delhi to Lahore, almost at midnight exactly a year ago.
Sixty-eight passengers died when two bogies of the train caught fire near the Deewana Railway Station, about 10 km from Panipat.
Most of the victims were Pakistanis. The Indian Government termed it ‘an act of terror’ apparently aimed at undermining the peace process between the two countries.
The Samjhauta rail link was restored in 1976, but was stopped after an attack on the Parliament on December 13, 2001. It was started again in 2004. (ANI)
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