Bengaluru: News of Puttaraju's death arrived on Monday afternoon, his grief-stricken brother collapsed, unconscious. Puttaraju, a JD(S) worker and a popular figure in his neighbourhood of Nelamangala Town, was touring Sri Lanka with his friends, a way of blowing off steam after the gruelling election campaign season.
The family had spoken to him on Sunday, before the blast, when he told them he would be back on April 24. It was the last conversation they would have with him. In too much of a shambles to speak to the press, the family has retreated into silence, with only Puttaraju's sister-in-law, Bhavya, managing to gather the strength. "He is a resident of Nelamangala Town and everybody living in the area knows him. He is a public figure, a known face at all social meetings and gatherings. They had worked hard for the election campaign and this trip to Sri Lanka with his friends was a chance to relax," she said.
"Now, we got the news of his death and his brother has lost consciousness. We have no words to explain our grief, we are still in a state of shock, and all we can say is that we have lost our pillar of strength. The future looks bleak."
On Monday morning, relatives of PWD contractor and Govenahalli resident, awaited confirmation. Rudresh, a relative, said at the time that there was no information. “Some people say he is dead, others say he is missing. We are in no state to believe he is dead. We are praying he is safe somewhere and hope God will listen to us." Shivakumar’s death was confirmed by the Indian High Commission on Monday.
Krishna Byre Gowda, RDPR minister of the state visited the family of Rangappa, whose death was confirmed on Monday afternoon at their home in Vidya ranyapura. Rangappa's death was confirmed on Monday noon. The minister has assured full support to family members and will see that the body arrives in the city at the earliest.
Blast was near their table: kin
The group of seven headed down for an early breakfast on Sunday. It was a little past 8 am when they arrived at their table at the Shangri-La Hotel, soon after checking-in. Minutes later, the blast ripped through the hotel, leaving six of the seven men dead, with one more still missing. Election season had been a gruelling one for them, all seven were JD(S) workers. The holiday to Sri Lanka was a much-needed break. They left Bengaluru on Saturday, arriving in Colombo by 7 am on Sunday.
The explosion took place not far from their table, says a relative of one of the victims, Shivakumar, whose death was confirmed by the High Commission of India in Colombo on Monday evening. Their families received the news of bomb blasts at around 12.30 pm....