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Friday, July 20, 2018

‘There’s not a day I don’t recall incident’

The blast that killed 17 people was two years ago,but the effect of it still rings in Sumeet Singh’s ears.

Written by Anuradha Mascarenhas | Pune | Published: February 10, 2012 2:09:46 am

The blast that killed 17 people was two years ago,but the effect of it still rings in Sumeet Singh’s ears. Sumeet,27,had initially lost all hope of standing on his feet after he suffered shrapnel injuries and 36 per cent burns when the bomb went off at the German Bakery. There was a constant ringing in his ear,which still recurs.

He is back on his feet fresh after a month’s break at his hometown in Jharkhand before joining a reputed law firm in Mumbai.

The alumnus of the Symbiosis Law School was visiting friends in Pune on February 13. The five of them were to attend Symbiosis’ College festival at Koregaon Park. They were enjoying a snack at German Bakery when the bomb went off killing two of them,Rajeev Agarwala and Abhishek Saxena. Sumeet and the other two,Rishabh Agarwal and Vinita Pathak were injured.

“Even as we move on with our lives,there is not a single day I do not think of the incident and feel lucky to be alive,” says Sumeet.

Sumeet was in hospital for one-and-a-half months and underwent three-four surgeries. He still has splinters in his left leg.

“The impact of the blast was so tremendous that my left ear was affected and I feel a constant ringing sound. It feels as if an electric current is passing through my left leg if somebody accidentally hits it,” says Sumeet. “After the incident,I realised that one cannot take life for granted,” Sumeet says and adds that it also changed his brother Manish’s mindset. “Manish was preparing for civil service examinations then but the blast,the deaths and injuries changed his life. While taking care of me he decided to switch to social work,” says Sumeet. Sumeet was a year senior to Rishabh and Rajeev at Symbiosis Law School. Rishabh says,“I am a calmer person now. After three operations,the rehabilitation finally got over last March. I still have a bad tear in the knee but I am not complaining.” Rishabh practises law at the Bombay High Court.

Vinita has also recovered from her injuries. The three are in regular contact with families of Rajeev and Abhishek. “It is a daily struggle for them as they have lost their enterprising sons and all we can offer is our constant support,” says Sumeet.

Meanwhile,the family struggles to keep memories of Rajeev from overwhelming them. While the father has immersed himself in work,Ravi,an engineer in Baroda,and sister Radhika,a college student,prefer to be busy throughout the day.

3 lakh compensation yet to reach Rajeev’s family

“Mera beta tha. Life mein kuch special karna chahta tha,” (My son wanted to do something special in life),” says Nandkumar Agarwala ,Rajeev’s father.

Rajeev was a final year student of law at Symbiosis when he died in the blast. “My boy was a brilliant student and very understanding,” says the father when contacted in Kolkata. Even as the family awaits the final amount of Rs 3 lakh as compensation from the central government,which will be routed through the Pune collectorate,there are plans to start a trust to award meritorious students. “We are grateful to Symbiosis College for instituting an award and a scholarship in memory of Rajeev who was exceptionally brilliant in subjects like company law and taxation,” says Ravi,his elder brother. When contacted,Symbiosis authorities said the process of giving awarding a meritorious student for the second year is on.

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