MUMBAI: Families of the victims of the 2006 serial train blasts here that killed 189 people today hailed as a "correct punishment" the death penalty awarded to five of the 12 convicts and life sentence to the remaining, observing that justice has been delayed but not denied.
For the family of Parag Sawant, who had become one of the enduring images of the carnage and who died recently after battling for life in a hospital for nine years, justice though will be served only after the convicts awarded capital punishment are hanged.
The family members of the 189 people who lost their lives and the 829 injured in seven powerful blasts that ripped local suburban trains between Matunga and Mira Road on the Western line on July 11, 2006, while welcoming the decision of the special court said the trial should have been expedited. The trial was concluded by a special MCOCA court nine years after the blasts.
"Justice will be done only after the convicts are hanged to death. We have lost our son. What happened to us should not happen to anyone else in future. A strong message has to be sent by our judicial system that such acts will not be dealt with lightly," Parag's father Jayprakash said. Parag died in July this year becoming the 189th victim. He is survived by his parents, wife, a minor daughter and a brother.
Parag, then 27 and newly married, had bought a first-class train pass for the first time on July 1, 2006, after getting promoted as assistant manager at a private firm. Ten days later, the blast took place in the first-class compartment of a Virar-bound train near Borivali, severely injuring several commuters, including Parag.
Dahisar resident Ashok Waghela, a chartered accountant, rarely travelled by local train once he started his consultancy firm in Borivali. But on July 11, 2006, he went to meet a client in South Mumbai and fell victim to one of the blasts.
His wife Yogita was left to fend for herself and her two school-going children. "The court has given a correct punishment. They (convicts) took so many lives in a matter of a few minutes, but it took nine years to prove them guilty," she said.
Her son and daughter are pursuing CA, while she takes up projects like selling garments and decorations during festivals like Navratri to support her family.