Terror blast victims’ families hold multi-faith prayer meet

October 29th, 2008 - 5:40 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Oct 29 (IANS) United by grief and prayers for their loved ones, families of terror blast victims and their well-wishers participated in a multi-faith prayer meet here Wednesday.The function was held near the 2005 pre-Diwali blast site at Sarojini Nagar Market in south Delhi.

Wiping her tear-stained face time and again, 23-year-old Masrat cradled her year-old daughter Munaja, rocking to the chants of a Sikh prayer. She lost her husband Quasim to the Sep 13 blast at Gaffar Market, where he plied a cycle-riskshaw.

Unable to hide her grief, Masrat cried: “I cannot forget him (Quasim). I am happy that this multi-faith prayer took place - I pray for peace and harmony.”

Hassan, 32, Quasim’s brother brought Masrat and Munaja all the way from their home near Anantnag in Jammu and Kashmir two days ago because the promised compensation of Rs.500,000 from the government has not reached the widow.

He wanted to leave the national capital, where has lived for 14 years, because he fears another terror strike.

“Walking on the road, images of the dustbin near me blowing me to bits flash in my mind. No, I don’t feel secure - for this I hold the government responsible,” Hassan told IANS.

The prayer meet in which over 100 people participated was organised on the third anniversary of the 2005 serial blasts that killed 61 people, near the Sarojini Nagar blast site.

As per information from the home ministry, in the past four months, one person was killed and 11 injured in the July 25 serial terror blasts in Bangalore; 56 people died and 260 were injured in the serial bombings in Ahmedabad July 27; 26 people were killed and 133 injured in the blast in Delhi Sep 13; and three died and 22 were wounded in the Mehrauli blast in Delhi Sep 27.

“Whenever these terror attacks take place - innocent lives are destroyed! Families are left with hollow wounds. This prayer meeting was also convened so that families and friends of the dead can share their sorrows and give each other strength and courage,” said Ashok Randhawa, president of the Sarojini Nagar Mini-market Traders Association.

Randhawa, who has been actively engaged in helping blast victims and families cope with their grief and process their compensation with authorities, said: “The multi-faith prayer is symbolic of how society can unite to tackle terror”.

Leaders from different faiths, Bhai Charan Singh and Bhai Sajan Singh from Gurudwara Singh Sabha, Maulvi Sabeer Miyan Sultani from Darbhanga Ghat and Father Nirmal Daniel from the Lodhi Road Church, held 20-minute-long prayers each.

This was followed by a pooja by family members of victims following Hindu traditions.

Among other blast victims, Mohan Chand Sharma, the police inspector who lost his life in the Sep 19 shootout at Jamia Nagar, in south Delhi, also was remembered.

The religious leaders in their prayer speeches jointly deemed the victims of the terror bombings as martyrs and prayed for strength and harmony amongst all “brothers”.

All India Anti-Terrorist Front leader M.S. Bitta also attended the function. He interacted with the families and said that he was just a “civilian sharing grief of the families”.

Like others present, Bitta too paid his respects by offering flowers at the marble plaque on which the names of those killed in the terrorist strike are engraved.

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