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'We lost laadli beti for ever'

October 02, 2008
Saba Parveen had no idea that a span of just 10 minutes could scar her and her family life for ever. At around 9.25 on September 29, Saba asked her younger sister, a 10-year-old Class V student to go to Bhikku Chowk and get her a handful of pakoras.

10 minutes later a blast ripped through Malegaon's Bhikku Chowk, charring the young Farheen beyond recognition.

Shaikh Liaquat Wahiuddin, Farheen's father who stays some 100 feet away from Bhikku Chowk at Mohammed Ali Road near Kasbapada masjid, too, heard the blast. His first reaction was to safeguard his three daughters, two sons and his wife inside the house as all the hell broke lose soon after the bomb blast.

Liaquat soon came out to search Farheen when Saba told him that Farheen had gone to Bhikku Chowk to get some pakoras. "Mohallewale ladkon ne bataya ki ek ladki waha bomb blast main jal gayi hai aur usse Wadia hospital le gaya hai ( a few neighbourhood kids told us that one girl suffered severe burns in that blast and somebody took her to the Wadia Hospital)," says the bereaved father, tears rolling down his eyes.

The shock registered only when they reached the hospital and identified their "school main padhne waali bacchi" (their daughter who studied in a school). Both Liaquat and his wife fainted as they could not bear the pain of their daughter's death.

While the state government and the Centre have announced a compensation of Rs 8 lakh for those who died in the blasts, Liaquat and his wife are extremely furious.

"We are not going to accept any excuse from the administration. We are not going to accept this compensation. Let them first arrest these terrorists who are making a joke of our law and order," says Farheen's mother, words barely audible as she chokes.

"These terrorists should get the strictest possible punishment irrespective of who they are and which denomination they belong too. What difference does it make to us now if it were known that the perpetrators belong to this religion or that? We have lost our laadli beti (loved daughter) forever."

Image: Shaikh Liaquat Wahiuddin, Farheen's father; Farheen's mother; and Farheen
Text: Prasanna D Zore; Photographs: Sanjay Sawant

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