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Father leaves for Pak with bodies of 5 children

Source: PTI
February 24, 2007 00:18 IST
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A traumatised Pakistani national Shaukat Ali Rana, whose five children perished in the Samjhauta Express blasts, on Friday night started his journey back home from Panipat with their bodies.

Pakistani Embassy officials on Friday issued the emergency passport and visa to Shaukat as his earlier passport was destroyed in the fire triggered by blasts that had swept through two coaches of the trans-border friendship train near Panipat on Sunday.

He was handed over Rs 5 lakh by railway officials before his return to his hometown Faisalabad in Pakistan's Punjab province.

"We have been given Rs 1 lakh for each child. Rest of the Rs 9 lakh per child will be given by the Indian Embassy in Pakistan," Shaukat said.

Just before embarking on his eight-hour road journey, Superintendent of Police, GRP Ambala Range, Bharti Arora recorded the statements of Shaukat Ali, considered a key witness in the case relating to the blasts, at the chief medical officer's office.

Earlier in the day, Shaukat identified all his five childern -- daughter Ayesha (16), son Mohammad Bilal (12), 10-year-old son Hamza, his daughter Asma (8) and youngest child Rehman aged 5 years.

He refuted reports that he was detained by the police.

Meanwhile, 24 more unidentified bodies are lying at the Civil Hospital's make-shift mortuary in Panipat.

The civil administration is making all arrangements for a mass burial of the unidentified bodies on Saturday afternoon.

Haryana Chief Minister Bhupender Singh Hooda and a Pakistani High Commission official are expected to attend the burial.

"The chief minister would be present and we have received a communication from the Ministry of External Affairs that a dignitary from the Pakistani High Commission would attend the mass burial," Assistant Deputy Commissioner Panipat Amit Aggarwal said.

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