He remembers hearing a loud blast, and waking up in a Delhi hospital with burn injuries on his hands and legs. Weeks later, his brother came across the charred body of his mother. He still hasn't got the body of his father.
On Wednesday, Mohammad Zakir, a 46-year-old tailor from UP's Bijnor, came to know from his friends and relatives in Delhi that an NIA court had acquitted all four accused in the Samjhauta train blast, which scarred his life 12 years ago. "I feel humiliated," he said.
"I had got my statement recorded before the court as a witness. I am not at all satisfied with the verdict. I will file an appeal after consulting my family members. I lost my parents in the blast and I will not let the accused go free," he said.
On February 18, 2007, Zakir and his parents, Mohammad Saddiq (68) and Ashraf-un-Shah (62), were travelling from Delhi to Lahore on the Samjhauta Express to visit relatives when the blast occurred near Panipat. Zakir says he woke up in Delhi's Safdarjung hospital, where he remained for 40 days.
Recalling the days after the blast, Zakir said: "My elder brother Iftikar Ahmed (50) rushed to Panipat but failed to get any information about my parents. He returned home and again went to Panipat with copies of their visa and passports to show the police. They collected his blood samples, which matched with the DNA recovered from a charred body… that was my mother. The body of my father could not be traced."
Zakir says that after getting discharged from hospital, he visited Panipat to meet "senior police officers and the investigating officer". "But they were not able to provide any information about my father's body. I ran around for two years and then gave up. The Railways had announced Rs 10 lakh as compensation to the family of those killed in the blast. I did not get any compensation of my father's death," he said.
Today, Zakir is a father of seven and runs a tailoring shop from the ground floor of his house in the Muglu Shah locality of Bijnor. "Before the blast, my parents and I had travelled on the Samjhauta Express thrice to visit my relatives, including a maternal uncle, in Pakistan. But since then, no one from my family has gone there," he said.