Comatose for nine years, 2006 train blasts victim dies

Mumbai, July 7 (IANS) Nine years after being in coma, Parag Sawant, who was injured in the July 11, 2006 Mumbai suburban train serial blasts, died here early Tuesday, officials said.

Then aged 27, Sawant was travelling in a Churchgate-Virar train to his home when a bomb ripped apart a coach of the suburban local near Bhayander.

He suffered extensive head injuries and brain trauma and was rushed to the Bhaktivedanta Hospital in Mira Road before being shifted to P.D. Hinduja Hospital in south Mumbai.

“I am sad to hear the news. In fact last week, I was discussing with his family members my plans to visit Parag (Sawant) at the hospital on the ninth anniversary of the 7/11 blasts next Saturday. His family and Parag took the tragedy bravely,” said Kirit Somaiya, Mumbai North-East BJP MP.

One of the last survivors of the terror attack, Sawant, 36, is survived by his wife Priti, rehabilitated with a job in Indian Railways, and minor daughter Praniti, eight years old whom he never saw as she was born after he lapsed into a vegetative state.

Sawant had become popular among the masses for his will to live, had regained consciousness briefly in 2008, and was visited by personalities like former deputy prime minister L.K. Advani and union Minister Sushma Swaraj.

The 7/11 Mumbai suburban trains serial blasts, carried out in a span of just 11 minutes, targeted the crowded suburban services during the evening peak hours as bombs kept in pressure cookers went off in north-bound locals on Western Railway.

A total of 209 commuters were killed and another 700-plus injured in the most deadly attack on Mumbai’s lifeline at Bhayander, Borivali, Jogeshwari, Khar Road, Bandra, Mahim and Matunga Road, while one unexploded bomb was found by police and defused at Borivali.

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