16 lives, countless dreams
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In some cases, families learnt of the death of their loved ones through voices of strangers who had found their cellphones. In some cases the police called or the hospital called.
For the 16 people who died in the twin blasts in Hyderabad on Thursday, and their families, death came suddenly and silently. The Indian Express pieces together the stories of the victims.
1 Padam Kulkarni, 50,
jalebi stall worker
He was jobless for months in his hometown Bhalki in Karnataka's Bidar district when a Hyderabad acquaintance from his hometown called Kulkarni to work at the Dwarakmayee Jalebi Store, about 100 metres from one of the blast sites. He came to Hyderabad barely 15 days ago.
"His stall owner called me and said that he went out for a cup of tea in the evening and never returned and that there was a blast. I began enquiring at the hospitals. No one at the hospitals reported finding any one by the name Padam Kulkarni,'' said Dagadu Rao Yadav, the man who brought Kulkarni to Hyderabad.
Yadav said he then visited the hospitals where the 16 dead and 91 injured were shifted and finally found Kulkarni in the morgue of the Osmania Hospital Friday morning. "He was a father of five — four daughters and a son. Three of his daughters have been married off. He was a poor man,'' said Yadav.
2 Swapna Reddy, 30,
MBA student and cashier at the
Islamic Engineering College
The lone woman killed in the blasts, Swapna had gone to Dilsukhnagar to buy some paper for her project work. "Her mobile phone was found lying at the blast site by someone. That person called the Islamic Engineering College, her employers, after finding that number. The college then informed us," her elder brother Sudhakar Reddy said. Despite having received news of Swapna's death, her family searched the hospitals where the injured were being moved to before finding her body.
3 Mohammed Rafiquddin, 21, salesman
The youngest of four children, Rafiquddin used to sell bags at an open counter at the Vani Bag Shop behind the Dilsukhnagar bus stop where the first of the two blasts occurred. When the bomb exploded about 100 yards away, he was talking to a customer. A shrapnel struck his head and ball bearings embedded themselves in his abdomen. "A policeman called us and alerted us about his body being in the Osmania Hospital. It seems people at the blast site identified him,'' said Rafiquddin's cousin Faiyaz.
4 Harish Karthick, 28,
BCom graduate pursuing MBA while working at the IT firm Webex
Karthick worked as a marketing co-ordinator at Webex. He had gone to the Dilsukhnagar area to meet a friend. Following news of the blast, his family kept trying his phone number until a policeman took the call, said his brother-in-law Gourishankar. "He got off a bus and was probably 100 yards away from a bomb when it exploded. He was the breadwinner for his parents and younger brother," he said.
5 Singadi Anand, 21, engineering student
From Srisailam, Anand had come to Hyderabad to pursue engineering studies and lived as a paying guest in Dilsukhnagar. On Thursday, the fourth-year student of electronics and communications engineering at the Nova Engineering College set out to attend a coaching class between 6 pm and 7 pm. "After the blasts his roommates kept trying his number but there was no response. They then searched the hospitals where victims were being taken. They initially did not find him but left word to be contacted in case unidentified bodies were brought in. They later got a call and were able to identify Anand," said his cousin Srikanth.
6 V Vijay Kumar, 23,
aspiring police officer
Preparations for examinations to be conducted on March 31 for recruitment of police sub-inspectors to the Andhra police brought Vijay to Dilsukhnagar Thursday evening. He was to collect study material from a tutorial in the area he had joined. "One of his roommates tried his phone and found it not reachable and began a search of the hospitals to find him,'' said his nephew Ravi Kumar.
7 Amanullah Khan, 55,
A small-time clothing businessman, he was in Dilsukhnagar Thursday evening to source material for his business. His elder daughter had been married off last year and his son is in college. "When he did not return home last night we did not take the matter seriously. We thought he may be out with his friends or something like that. It was only this morning when he did not return that we panicked and began a search," his nephew Ashfaq said. "He was a simple man who had struggled to eke out an existence for his family."
8 Vale Ramulu, 56,
Hyderabad Municipal Corporation
"My brother, two sisters, mother, and grandmother are here but my daddy is no more," said Vale Swathi, choking with grief. Ramulu, a sanitation superintendent with Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation, died in the first blast Thursday evening. In the morning, Ramulu had parked his scooter at Dilsukhnagar and took a bus to visit his brother V Bhikshpathi in Chotuuppal. He returned in the evening and was taking out his vehicle when the explosion occurred, killing him on the spot. His wife Andhaalu said that after delaying the trip for two months, her husband finally decided to meet his brother on the fateful Thursday. "He used to visit his brother frequently earlier. He would park his vehicle at Dilsukhnagar bus stop and take a bus to Chotuppal. He would return in the evening. He will never come home now,'' she said. Ramulu is survived by his wife, a son and three daughters.
9 Janga Yadaiah, 24, driver
Yadaiah and two other friends had gone to Dilsukhnagar, probably to watch a movie, said his uncle G Rathnam. "When he suffered injuries and was taken to a hospital the staff there found his ID card and called his sister. She informed us and we searched for him. We found him on Friday around 4 am but were able to collect the body only in the afternoon because the police delayed the process," Rathnam said.
10 Macha Giri, 21, tea stall worker
A worker at the Ramesh Tea Stall in Dilsukhnagar, Giri was killed when he went to visit a chicken stall where his father worked near one of the blast sites, said elder brother Swamy. "We are a poor family from Nalgonda. Each of us has small jobs to get by," he said.
Others who died in the blasts are Chogaram Kaloji, 25, a Rajasthani worker at the Dilsukh Hotel; Aijaz Ahmed, 21, an engineering student of the SGM Polytechnic; Mutyala Rajashekhar, 24, an MBA graduate looking for a job; B Sreenivasa Reddy, 21, a student from Kurnool living as a paying guest in the Dilsukhnagar area; N Venkateshwarulu, 56, a junior assistant in the state veterinary department who lived in the Malakpet area near the blast site; and Gunta Tirupati, 25, from Karimnagar.
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