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Two Pak families wiped out in blasts

By Santosh K Joy in Panipat
February 24, 2007 15:58 IST
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Another tragic story unfolded in the Samjhauta Express blasts as it came to light on Saturday that 11 members of two families from Pakistan perished in the ghastly explosions on the India-Pakistan Friendship Express.

Shabir Ahmed, along with his wife and four children and the family of his brother-in-law Fakruddin, had come to India to meet his mother for the first time since the 1971 Indo-Pak war, when he had moved to Pakistan.

The two families were wiped out in the Sunday night explosions and Shabir's brother Mohammad Javed, a college student from Gaya, Bihar, on Saturday identified five of the bodies at the Civil Hospital in Panipat.

"It was the first time that Shabir had come to meet all of us after 36 years. It was a happy occasion for us and a special one for my mother, who was overjoyed to see her eldest son after such a long time," Javed said.

Javed had come here on Tuesday also, but was unable to identify the bodies then. On Saturday, he returned with three of his friends, who had seen them off at the Old Delhi Railway Station and helped him find out his relatives from among the charred remains.

They identified the bodies of Shabir (35), his wife Sameena Khatoon (27), their son Shahbaz and brother-in-law Fakruddin.

Shahrayar Shabir, the eight-year-old son of Shabir, has also been identified, but some confusion prevailed and the administration has decided to wait for the DNA tests before handing over the body to the family.

The others who are feared killed in the explosions are Shabir's children Mushba (11), Sarhez (6) and his father-in-law Mohammad Ikram (65), Fakruddin's wife Roshan Khatoon (26) and their children Sannan (12) and Alishba (5).

Javed said the family has decided to bury all of them in Panipat only. "As the bodies are in a very bad shape and it is difficult to carry them either to Bihar or Pakistan, we have decided to bury them here," he said.

Shabir's brother-in-law in Pakistan had wanted to come to take the bodies, but could not because of visa problems.

Shabir had shifted to Pakistan along with his aunt after the 1971 war, while his mother and rest of the children stayed back in Gaya.

So far, 48 bodies of the 68 victims of the blasts that took place at Deewana near here have been identified. District authorities have received intimation from a man in Gurgaon,

Haryana, saying his family has identified a body of his relative and that he was coming here to claim it.

Earlier in the day, a last batch of Pakistanis searching for their missing kin arrived, but the relatives were unable to identify any of the bodies. The four-member group led by Mohammad Hafiz later left for Delhi.
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Santosh K Joy in Panipat
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