‘’It should have been done earlier. It’s almost four years now,’’ A Vijaya said on Wednesday of the surprise hanging of 26/11 terrorist Ajmal Kasab. Glancing at the garlanded photographs of her husband and son on the wall showcase, she added resignedly, tears welling up in her eyes; ‘’Those who have gone have gone, we aren’t going to get them back. But every night I go to sleep thinking about them.’’
Vijaya’s husband P Murugan and their son M Aneesh Prabhu were among the 58 people shot and killed by two gunmen - Kasab was one of them - on the night of November 26, 2008, at the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST), Mumbai.
These four years, Vijaya, 49, has been busy picking up the threads of her shattered life, a life punctuated with occasional news of Kasab’s trial. On Wednesday, she learned of his hanging while visiting a relative at Iraniyal. Like most people, she too was surprised by the suddenness of it. ‘’I was told he was hanged in the morning. There was nothing in the news on Tuesday evening,’’ she said, speaking to Express at her younger daughter Deepa’s home at Edagramam near Kaimanam on Wednesday afternoon.
Murugan, who ran a vegetable trade at Chalai, had accompanied his son to Mumbai for the latter’s medical checkup for a job in Qatar. ‘’He didn’t want Aneesh to go alone,’’ recalls Vijaya.
An electrician, Aneesh, 26, had worked in Saudi Arabia for over a year. ‘’They arrived in Mumbai early morning on November 26, finished the checkup and were waiting for the train home at the CST when it happened,’’ Deepa said.
At midnight, a doctor at the St George Hospital, Mumbai, had called Murugan’s home from his son’s mobile phone. He told the family that both men were unconscious. Murugan’s elder daughter Nithya’s husband hurried to Mumbai. By then, both had been shifted to the JJ Hospital. But the fact was that Murugan had been killed on the spot. ‘’Chettan was alive till 3 pm the next day,’’ Deepa said.
Today, Deepa works at the Indian Railway, a job which she was offered on compassionate grounds. The state government had promised Vijaya Rs 5 lakh, five cents of land and a house. She got the money and the land, but not the house. ‘’Who is there for us to go after such things?’’ she asks.