German Bakery blast: Punekars to pay quiet homageFebruary 13th, 2012 - 3:36 pm ICT by IANS
Pune, Feb 13 (IANS) Exactly two years after a blast ripped through Pune’s popular German Bakery, killing 17 and injuring 64 others, Punekars Monday prepared to pay a silent homage to the victims of the terror strike.
The venue, once bustling with activity, has remained shut for two years and the owners - Smita Kharose and her daughter Snehal Kharose - are making frantic efforts to reopen it amid the cacophony of the Pune Municipal Corporation elections, slated Feb. 16.
“Unlike last year, we are not having any huge public prayer meeting. It will be a very quiet affair at 6.50 p.m. today,” Snehal told IANS.
She said family members of those killed, some survivors, and other well-wishers are expected to turn up for the token but solemn gathering in the evening - at the time when a powerful bomb ripped apart what is known as Pune’s ‘Leopold Cafe.’
The renovation work of the restaurant has been going on in bits and pieces on account of financial problems, huge mounting losses and other technical issues, Snehal said.
“So far, we have spent nearly Rs.5 million, including Rs.1.40 million received as compensation from the state government. We are still spending and I really cannot give a date for the re-opening,” she said glumly.
The most popular hang-out for youngsters and foreigners, German Bakery was the target of a terror attack that fateful Valentine’s Day Eve, Feb 13, 2010.
It left 17 dead, including four foreigners, and another 64 patrons injured, shocking the entire country and scarring the state’s cultural and education capital.
Post-renovation, the restaurant will have a totally new look and layout spread over 750 sq feet on the ground floor and another 1100 sq feet on the first floor, Snehal said.
Among the problems hampering the re-opening is procuring the machinery to be installed and lack of staff to man the restaurant.
“This morning, my mother Smita and I offered prayers at the restaurant and this evening, we shall have a small gathering for the public to pay homage. We are doing this from our heart, so we don’t need to make a big public show of our emotions,” Snehal declared.
Incidentally, two years post-blast, the investigators have managed to nab one prime suspect - Katil Siddiqui, caught recently from New Delhi.
In its detailed charge sheet filed before a Pune court last year, the state Anti-Terrorist Squad (ATS) has named Riyaz Bhatkal, Iqbal Bhatkal, Yasin Bhatkal, Faiyaz Kagzi, Zainuddin Ansari - all untraced and on the run - as the prime accused behind the terror act.
Another four prime accused - Rizwan Mohammed Davare, Sohail Usman Ghani Sheikh, Rahil Attur Rehman Sheikh, and Mohsin Choudhary - are also still wanted. They too are on the run.
- Pune to pay homage to German Bakery blast victims Sunday - Feb 12, 2011
- Pune pays tribute to German Bakery blast victims (Lead) - Feb 13, 2011
- Lakshman pays tribute to Pune blast victims - Feb 13, 2011
- Pune blast suspect sent to police custody till June 1 - May 25, 2010
- German Bakery blast plot hatched in Colombo: Charge-sheet - Dec 06, 2010
- 26/11 plotter Jundal abandoned family for terrorism - Jul 08, 2012
- German Bakery blast suspect nabbed from Mangalore airport - May 24, 2010
- German Bakery blast accused produced in Mumbai court - May 25, 2010
- Pune blast suspect Bhatkal sent to police custody (Lead) - May 25, 2010
- Pune blast suspect gets bail - Jun 15, 2010
- Month after Pune blast, police still clueless - Mar 13, 2010
- Mumbai ATS nabs two German Bakery blast suspects - Sep 08, 2010
- Gujarat riots spurred Jundal's radicalisation: Investigators - Jul 11, 2012
- Indian Mujahideen prime suspect in Pune blast - Apr 08, 2010
- Pune blast suspect Samad Bhatkal remanded to judicial custody till June 14 - Jun 01, 2010
Tags: bakery, bits and pieces, cacophony, education capital, feet on the ground, foreigners, frantic efforts, homage, leopold, prayer meeting, public prayer, pune municipal corporation, quiet affair, renovation work, sq feet, target, terror attack, valentine s day, well wishers, youngsters