By Gaurav Kumar and Sumiran Preet Kaur
Photos- Jaishree,Radio story: Aqsa Anjum

Janpath wore a deserted look even at the peak hours of the day, a week after the serial blasts. Delhi Police has now taken various precautions to ensure the safety of the citizens in Connaught Place (CP).

An official stationed near Janpath, on condition of anonymity, said that a lot of precautions have been taken to ensure safety from their side. All the dustbins have been turned upside down, the Central Park has been closed. There is a lot of frisking and metal detectors are used at all the crowded places
But are all these precautions enough to ensure the people of their safety? “Our business has gone down by nearly 50%. People are no more coming here,” says Ashwini Katpalia, owner of snack corner, Depauls at Janpath. “By turning the dustbins, how can how can you ensure the safety of your citizens. The city will get even dirtier. I mean will the bombers come back and put the bombs in the dustbins again? There is so much crowd that it is difficult to actually keep a track of all such activities. This time it was dustbins, next time it can be anything else.”

What happened that day?

Shoaib Hussain, had gone to Gaffar Market to collect his mobile. As he was approaching the bike, a strong push threw him 6ft away. Before being unconscious he saw people being blown into pieces. He woke in the hospital in I.C.U and had received multiple injuries and burns.

Jai Prakash, a beverage seller outside Central Park, says that immediately after the blast all were startled. “After I heard a huge thump I could not understand anything. The thump shook me. After a few seconds later people stared coming out of the Central Park in huge numbers. There was black smoke coming. By that time we knew it was a blast. I could see people lying on the ground in the park.”

Parshuram, a chaatwala at Janpath recalls that there was panic. “When people came to know that serial blasts were taking place in CP, everybody started running here and there. Everybody shut their shops and went home. There was police all around. Janpath hasn’t seen as much crowd as we used to see before the blasts.”

The never die attitude

So does that mean it’s a no-no to CP for shoppers? “Everybody gets scared initially. But people move on. There’s so much more to Connaught Place than just shopping. Clothes at cheap prices, restaurants, window shopping …No one can resist Connaught Place,” says Neelam Juneja , a doctor and a regular visitor to CP.

For Pia, a tourist from China, there is no reason to be afraid. “We all have to die, if not this way than some other way. We have to move on.”

According to Katpalia of Depauls it’s just a matter of time. “People have short memories. They will forget it and move on .We were lucky enough to escape this time. We all pray that we do not have to face it again. It is nothing less than a nightmare. Police cannot ensure everything with so much population in the city. It is us who have to keep our eyes and ears open. ”