German Bakery blast: Pune pays homage to victims
Pune: Candle light processions and peace marches were taken out in the city on Sunday to pay homage to the victims of the German Bakery bomb blast that left 17 people, including four foreigners, dead and over 50 injured on this day last year.
Memorial services have been organised for those who were killed on that fateful day when a powerful bomb kept under one of the tables in the eatery exploded, flattening the structure in Koregaon area and leaving a trail of destruction.
The explosion, that occurred at 6.57 pm, also put Pune - the cultural and academic capital of Maharashtra which has now turned into an IT and auto hub - on the terror map along with neighbouring Mumbai.
It took nearly six months for Maharashtra Anti-Terrorist Squad (ATS) to nab Himayat Baig, the alleged mastermind behind the blast, who hails from Latur, in Marathwada region, where he ran a cyber cafe and had links with Indian Mujaheedin and Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Toiba.
Baig, who is on trial after his arrest on September 7, is accused of hatching a conspiracy to blow up the eatery, frequented by foreigners, along with six absconding co-conspirators, during a visit to Sri Lankan capital Colombo.
Snehal Kharose, owner of the eatery who was given a financial assistance of Rs 14 lakh to rebuild the structure, said it would take a few weeks to restart the food joint which would have a memorial in its premises for the victims of the bombing.
Pune Police Commissioner Meeran Borwankar said all police stations had been sensitised after the bombing with formation of special squads for rapid response to a situation and appealed to citizens to remain alert about any possible suspicious activity in their vicinity.
The upscale Koregaon Park area, which along with the German Bakery is home to other perceived terrorist targets such as Chhabad House of Jew community and Osho Ashram with
foreign inmates, did not have a police station at the time of the attack.
The Maharashtra government has recently given a go ahead for a full-fledged police station in the area.
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