The final rites of five were completed on Wednesday
Heartbroken families and friends on Wednesday received the bodies of the eight people from the State who died in Sunday’s Easter bombings in Sri Lanka. The final rites of five victims – Nagaraj Reddy, K.H. Hanumantharayappa, M. Rangappa, K.M. Lakshminarayan and H. Shivakumar – were held later in the day. Ramesh Gowda, Maaregowda and Puttaraju will be put to rest on Thursday, as their bodies arrived in Bengaluru late evening.
Puttaraju, 37, was the last to be declared dead. He was reported missing till Tuesday afternoon, but family members kept the news of his demise from his wife and mother.
“We switched off the television and guarded them. On Wednesday morning, we had no other option but to tell them. I told them that he was very critical and prepared them for the eventuality. I later told them they were switching off the ventilator and slowly made them accept his death,” said his father Basavaraj. Puttaraju was the youngest in the group of seven JDS workers that had travelled to Sri Lanka after elections to the Lok Sabha got over in south Karnataka. He has a three-year-old daughter.
Family members and loved ones of Hanumantharayappa and Rangappa were inconsolable as the bodies were brought to their houses on Wednesday morning.
Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy and JDS supremo H.D. Devegowda visited the residences of K.H. Hanumantharayappa and M. Rangappa in Bengaluru, and also Dr. Ambedkar Ground in Nelamangala where the bodies of K.M. Lakshminarayan and H. Shivakumar – all JDS workers – were kept for public viewing.
“I consoled the grieving family members and prayed to the Almighty to give them strength,” said Mr. Kumaraswamy. He added that he assured the families that he and the party would stand by them. Thousands gathered at Nelamangala to pay their last respects. These included several politicians cutting across party lines..
The family of Nagaraj Reddy, a businessman from BTM Layout and a relative of BJP MLA S.R. Vishwanath, had initially hoped that he had survived the attack, as he was first reported missing. They were later informed that he was in a hospital where he passed away.
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