Among blast victims were many who were sole bread earners

By Mohammed Shafeeq, IANS

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Hyderabad : The terror blast at the Mecca Masjid and the subsequent police firing here has snuffed out lives of many who were the sole earners for their families.

The Friday attack, the worst in the city's history, have shattered the dreams of several families and changed the lives of many forever.

Perhaps the most tragic story is of Yousuf Khan, a rickshaw puller, and his relative Shafeeq-ur-Rehman, a native of Assam. Yousuf, 45, reached the mosque on Friday with the body of his father Rehman Khan, who had died a natural death the night before.

Rehman Khan's 'Namaz-e-Janaza' (prayers offered for a person after his death) was to be offered after the Friday prayers. But Yousuf was not destined to join the last prayers of his father.

Unaware what was lying in store for them, Yousuf and Shafeeq (33) joined the Friday prayers at the 'Wazu Khana' or water tank near where the deadly bomb was kept under a stone platform.

It was a double tragedy for the family as both Yousuf and Shafeeq, husband of his niece, were killed in the blast.

The tragedy has plunged Yousuf's family in crisis because he was the sole breadwinner for his family of six. He lived in Mohajir Camp, adjacent to the 17th century mosque.

Mohammed Riyaz, 17, a worker at a bakery in Karimnagar district, had come to the city to attend the marriage of his employer's daughter.

Riyaz took the full brunt of the blast, his head was smashed and face dismembered. The family members were shocked to see the gory pictures on TV and news channels.

Riyaz, the sole bread earner for a family of seven, visited Charminar, the historic monument and symbol of Hyderabad, minutes before joining the Friday prayers at the Mecca Masjid.

Riyaz's mother and elder brother are mentally challenged while his father is aged and stays at home.

Nazeeruddin alias Imran, 26, a call centre executive, died when a police bullet hit him. A resident of Aghapura neighbourhood in the city, Irfan had gone to look for his younger brother Irfan.

Imran rushed to the area after learning that his brother had gone to the mosque. While his brother had come back home safely, Irfan died when the police opened fire on a mob.

Iftikhar Ahmed, a medical representative, had also gone to escort back his younger brother but got stuck in a crowd and fell to police bullets. Mohammed Ather Mohiuddin, 15, was killed in police firing when he went out to fetch medicines for his ailing mother.

The injured also included people who had come from Maharashtra and other places to visit Hyderabad.

Rafeeq Ahmed Qureshi, a native of Osmanabad district in Maharashtra, had come to the city to attend a marriage. He was lucky to escape with minor injuries.

Abdul Hanan, a resident of Amravati in Maharashtra, who was also injured, had come to attend a marriage in the city.

Toufeeq, 14, a native of Kolkata, who works in a jewellery shop here, was injured in the explosion. He had arrived here four days earlier along with his parents, who had gone back to Kolkata.

Most visitors offer prayers at Mecca Masjid during sight seeing trips. The Muslims also have an emotional attachment to the mosque as bricks brought from Mecca, Islam's holiest place in Saudi Arabia, were used in its construction.