At least 6 JDS workers killed in Colombo blasts, Karnataka govt

Bengaluru, Apr 22 (PTI) At least six JD(S) workers from Karnataka, who were on a visit to Sri Lanka after a gruelling campaign for the Lok Sabha polls, were killed in the multiple blasts in the island nation, the State government said Monday.
A leisure trip to Sri Lanka proved fatal for JD(S) workers when the blast took place very close to the dining table as they sat for breakfast at Shangri-La hotel in Colombo, one of the major targets of the deadliest terror strikes in the island nation’s history, family members said.
Out of seven staying at Shangri-La hotel, the state government has received information about the death of five- Ramesh, K M Lakshminarayan, M Rangappa, K G Hanumantharayappa and Narayan Chandrashekar, Karnataka Chief Secretary T M Vijay Bhaskar said.
Sri Lankan Foreign Ministry later in the evening confirmed the death of one more –Shivakumar.
“Sri Lankan Foreign Ministry has confirmed the death of one more individual – H Shivakumar – in the blasts yesterday, taking the total number of Indian deaths in the tragedy to 8 till now,” High Commission of India in Colombo tweeted.
The same was retweeted by External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj.
“Last morning while checking-in around 8, they have gone for breakfast and blast took place very close to their table,” a relative of Shivakumar, said.
“Due to the blast Hanumantharayappa and Rangappa have died on the spot, while others at hospital is what we have come to know so far. We are leaving for Colombo…” he said.
“Soon after reaching Colombo they have called home to inform that he has reached, shortly after that the incidentshould have happened.
normally he used to go for trip withfriends, this time after election for relaxation he had gone, this has happened,” the relative said as he broke down.
Sister-in-law of Puttaraju, whose name figured as missing in a tweet by Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy, not wishing to share her name, said the family has no information about him yet.
“He was associated with JD(S) and had left on Saturdaynight along with friends just for relaxing as election wasover, he was about to come back on April 24, but this has happened probably some time after they have reached there.
Weare waiting for information,” she said.
A few relatives of those dead and missing have left for Colombo, JD(S) sources said.
The Chief Minister in a series of tweets said all victimswere JD(S) workers from Karnataka and were on a tour to Sri Lanka.
“I am deeply pained at the loss of their lives in the heinous attack. They were also committed workers of our party and their death has brought immense sorrow to us,” he said, adding that he was with the families of the deceased.
The Chief Secretary said, he has requested Indian High Commissioner in Sri Lanka to send the bodies at the earliest.
A nodal officer has been appointed at the High Commissioner’s office for Karnataka tourists, he said, adding that a few from the state had gone to Kandy and were on their way back.
The Chief Secretary’s office is in constant touch with the Resident Commissioner at Karnataka Bhavan located in New Delhi, Kumaraswamy said.
The office is also in touch with families of the victims and the missing people for further information on them, the chief minister said.
Kumaraswamy had on Sunday strongly condemned the terrorist attack, saying terrorism is an act of cowardice and an attack on humanity.
The death of Razeena Khader, a Keralite woman whose husband Abdul Khader is a native of Baikampady near Suratkal in Mangaluru in Karnataka, was confirmed on Sunday.
She was about to check out from the Shangri-La hotel where she stayed after a week’s stay with her husband when the explosion occurred, a relative said in Mangaluru.
Seven suicide bombers believed to be members of an Islamist extremist group carried out a series of blasts that tore through churches and luxury hotels in Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday, killing 290 people in the country’s worst terror attack, authorities said Monday.

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