On Wednesday, the Porbandar-based family of Hiralal Masani’s family celebrated a late Diwali after four long years.
Masani is the owner of the fishing trawler, Kuber, which terrorist Ajmal Kasab and his other accomplices had hijacked to reach Mumbai in November 2008.
Besides, the families of five other fishermen – four from Gujarat and one from Diu – who were killed by Kasab and his men also let out tears of joy on hearing about Kasab’s execution.
The Solankis burst crackers only hearing the news on television.
Ranibai Solanki, wife of Amarsinh Solanki – the captain of the fishing trawler – said that her four-long prayers and fasting had borne fruit.
While Solanki was threatened into steering the trawler towards Mumbai after which he was killed, the other four fishermen were killed mid-sea by the terrorists.
“God has heard my prayers... Now I can die in peace,” Ranibai told DNA over the phone, her voice choking with emotion. “I had offered prayers and fasts only for this day,” she said.
Her son Hitesh, who was a schoolboy when his father was killed, said his family is finally relieved. “It’s come after four long years, but we’re happy that he’s been paid back in the same coin,” said Hitesh, who is now in college.
Masani, who said he had not imagined that this day would dawn during his lifetime, said he greeted his family members and people in the neighbourhood. “It was as if I were celebrating after four years of sorrow,” he said.