Hero’s family: It gives us no pleasure - The New Indian Express

Hero’s family: It gives us no pleasure

Published: 22nd November 2012 09:46 AM

Last Updated: 22nd November 2012 09:46 AM

For the family of one of the martyred heroes of the Mumbai terror attacks, Kasab’s hanging on Wednesday brought mixed feelings.

The Bhanja family lost a son who saved hundreds of lives on that day of hell and subsequently saw a grieving daughter-in-law die an untimely death.

When the Taj Hotel in Mumbai was under siege from the terrorists, executive chef Vijay Rao Bhanja was among the hotel staff who organised a human chain to spirit the guests out through the kitchen.

Vijay was the last link in the chain, and fell to the bullets of one of the terrorists.

Upon hearing the news of Kasab’s hanging, his elder brother, Vinod Rao Bhanja said, “This brings us no pleasure. We expected it to happen but it happened too late. Justice delayed is as good as justice denied.’’

Vinod retired as the assistant property manager of the Medak diocese of the Church of South India (CSI). The family lives at Defence Colony in Neredmet. The family’s trauma did not end with the 26/11 attacks.

Vijay’s wife Fareeda died of a cardiac arrest within six months of the nightmare.

“The trauma took her life,’’ says Vinod Rao, troubled by the stirring of the past by Wednesday’s hanging.

Fareeda and Vijay met at the Taj where she too was employed. They married and Fareeda quit to look after their only son, Rohan. He now lives with his uncle in Mumbai and would be completing his graduation soon.

News of the execution was broken to Vinod by his elder brother, Vimal Rao, a group commander in Bangalore. He immediately conveyed it to his mother Saroja Rao, who switched on the television.

Vinod knew the media would descend on his house looking for reactions. He decided to keep his mother away from it all lest it plunge her into depression.

For Vinod Rao, Kasab was just a tool in the hands of his handlers sitting at some other place. “Most of them have been identified. The government should take action against them,’’ he said

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