On Jangli Maharaj Road, vendors keep eyes trained on bicycles


Along the Jangli Maharaj Road, where bombs on bicycles had gone off on August 1, there is a vigil of a different kind by roadside vendors. Thursday's blasts in Hyderabad in which bombs were believed to have been placed on bicycles have only increased their alertness. Some of them have tied their cycles to trees, while others, like 61-year-old Vijay Mankar, a milk vendor who has a stall near the main gate of Sambhaji Park, keep a constant eye on their parked cycles.

They take care to have no carriers or boxes on the cycles to ensure no bombs can be placed. Mankar, who has lost one cycle to thieves, managed to prevent theft on two other occasions right before his eyes only because of his vigil, and gave chase and managed to recover the cycle.

"After the J M Road blasts, I have been keeping a close watch on my bicycle parked along the road. That is why I could catch two thieves," says Mankar.

Gurudev Amre, who sells socks on the roadside, has tied his bicycle to a tree. "When the J M blasts occurred, the bombs were placed on cycles. I keep by cycle tied to the tree whether I am at the spot or away. In the evening I take it home," says Amre. At Kasat chowk, four bicycles are parked in front of vendors selling pani puri, bhel and dosa. None has any carriers. "We keep cycles free of boxes and under constant watch," says a vendor.

There are few bicycles on J M Road, which stretches from Modern Cafe to Garware bridge. And those available are under close watch by the owners. There is another danger lurking. The stretch has a lot of two-wheelers and cars and parking areas have no attendants, making it easy for a bomb-planter. "If it has happened again in Hyderabad, it can happen again in Pune...Dar to lagta hain (I fear it happening again). Everybody should remain watchful. At least we are alert," says Prabhu G, a bhel vendor at Kasat chowk.

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