On 26 July 2008, 8 year old Yash Vyas with his 10-11 year old brother Rohan and father, Dushyant Vyas, stepped out of home to learn how to cycle. They rode the cycle for about 2-3 hours. At around 7:30-7:45 PM, someone called up his father and asked him to wait at the Civil Hospital. Yash doesn’t know exact details, but his father who worked at Ahmedabad Civil Hospital’s cancer department’s laboratory, waited.
10 minutes later, an ambulance rolled in. His father asked his two sons to wait for him with the cycle and went to check in the ambulance. And there was another blast. “I am not sure if the blast took place inside ambulance or a vehicle that passed by, but the blast was so powerful it could be heard till two kms. My brother was standing with the cycle and he was burnt beyond recognition. I ran the other way because I was so scared,” Yash said while speaking to OpIndia.
Yash started running towards his house, in injured state, but someone, likely a student or someone at the hospital, saw an injured child and got him admitted instead.
“I last saw my father at 8:30 PM on the day of the blast. They were taking him away on a stretcher. I then fell unconscious,” Yash said.
Dushyant Vyas was badly injured on his legs and he bled to death because of severe loss of blood, says Yash.
At first he was admitted to the Civil Hospital. “Modi Saheb had assured the best treatment to me. He said that the state government was ready to get me admitted in any hospital in any part of the world to ensure treatment. I was then shifted to Apollo Hospital where I was in ICU for next three months. I then spent a month outside of ICU,” he said.
“Dr Shrikant Lagwankar and Dr Jyotindra Kaur of Apollo took great care of me,” he said. Yash said that Rs 1.62 crore bill was footed by the state government. The state government gave monetary compensation for the injury as loss of lives to the bereaved family.
Yash is now pursuing B.Sc. (Bachelors in Science) and wants to then take up Masters.
On the recent death sentence awarded to the convicts, Vyas said, “They should have been hanged long back. They killed innocent people, so why should they be spared. Life imprisonment is of no use to them.”
There was a certain ring in his voice of having some feeling of justice being served after over a decade. “I sometimes have difficulty in hearing because the blast sound was so loud,” he said. It was tough for him and his mother and grandmother to accept how their lives had changed forever, but they have been resilient.
He saw his brother perish in front of his eyes and father bleed to death. Instead of being vengeful and taking up route of violence, Yash chose to get himself educated and wants to finish his Masters in chemistry and take up a job somewhere, ‘like a lab’, he said.
Meanwhile, Jamiat Ulama-e-Hind has opposed the death penalty to the convicts and has said that they will take up the fight to the High Court and even Supreme Court if needed.
A special court in Ahmedabad announced the sentences in the 2008 Ahmedabad bomb blast case on Friday 18th February 2022. In the verdict, the court had awarded death sentences to as many as 38 convicts out of the 49 accused who were convicted in this case, while the remaining 11 had been sentenced to life imprisonment until death. As per law, the death sentences will need to be confirmed by the Gujarat High Court. You could read about other terror accused who were provided legal aide and support by Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind here.