“Why have they spared him? Did they spare my son? Will he ever come back again? No, so why did they spare Baig?”
Madu Agarwala, mother of Rajeev Agarwala, who died in the German bakery blast in 2010, could not stop questioning the justice system when she got to know that the Bomaby High Court has acquitted Mirza Himayat Baig of terror charges and quashed the death penalty.
The Bombay High Court on Thursday set aside the death sentence to Mirza Himayat Baig in the German Bakery blast case, acquitting him of all charges except two, for which he will serve a life sentence. He was found guilty of possessing explosive substance and forged documents.
Agarwala cried bitterly and said that the government did not do anything to help. “My son was a final year student at Symbiosis Law College and was a topper in the class. He had such a bright future ahead of him. The college also instituted an award and a medal in his memory to students who earned highest marks in company law and taxation.” she said. Residing in Kolkata, Madhu said she no longer has any desire to visit Pune and feels cheated that Baig was acquitted of terror charges. Rajeev Agarwala and Abhishek Saxena died in the blast but their three friends who were with them at the bakery survived. These five friends were hanging out at German Bakery for a snack before heading towards the Symbiosis College Festival on February 13 at Koregaon Park.
When contacted, 31-year-old Sumeet Singh, who is now a corporate lawyer at a firm in Delhi, said that he had suffered multiple splinter injuries and 36 per cent burns. “The HC judgment is a big let down. Somewhere, there has been a mix-up in the investigations. After all, it could have been the rarest of rare cases as the person carrying explosives definitely knows what the implications are. That he has been acquitted has come as a huge disappointment. I only hope that the case against Yasin Bhatkal, Indian Mujahideen founder and German bakery blast accused, is watertight.” Singh said.
Thirty-year-old Rishabh Agarwal, who is a now a practising lawyer at the Bombay High Court, was also among the group of five friends. He survived the blast but a year went by in recovering from three surgeries and a knee injury. “Yes I was angry but will it bring back Rajeev or Abhishek?”