Mehrana Remembers Samjhauta Blast Victims

Panipat City: Hundreds of people gathered at the burial ground of Mehrana village in Panipat on Friday afternoon to observe the fourth anniversary of the twin blasts in the Samjhauta Express. They organized a special prayer for the 69 persons who were killed in the blasts. However, none of the relatives of the victims joined the memorial service. On February 18, 2007, two bogies of the cross-country Samjhauta Express, running between Delhi and Lahore, were blown up by terrorists. As many as 29 victims, including 23 unidentified bodies, were buried in the graveyard that is situated near Panipat city. Senior officers of the district administration and even of the police department also failed to attend the programme that was organized by local Muslims and an all-religions society. "We can understand the problems of the victims` relatives as they are not rich enough to make it to the venue. But, what stopped the deputy commissioner as well as SP from coming here," asked Ramesh Chand Kohar, a local who coordinated the programme. Ashok Randhawa, president of Indo-Pak Friendship Association that had been working to help Pakistani victims` families in getting their claims, said, "Somebody from the administration should have attended the memorial.`` Others who attended the programme included Dheeraj Kapoor, who was station superintendent in 2007; Ved Kumar Panchal, former sarpanch of Siwah village who had headed the relief and rescue operations and Abdul Gaffar, estate manager of Wakf Board Panipat city.

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