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4 of a family killed in Srinagar grenade attack
Syed Amin Jafri in Hyderabad and Mukhtar Ahmad in Srinagar | July 12, 2006 16:05 IST
Four Amarnath tourists, who were killed in the terrorist attack in Srinagar on Tuesday, belonged to a single family from Hyderabad and Kolkata. The victims were: South Central Railway official Sandeep Bhattacharjee (47), his wife Chhaya (43), his elder sister Kaveri Ghosh Roy (51) and his mother Pratima Devi (65). Sandeep's brother-in-law Ashish Ghosh Roy and his mother-in-law Kamala Bhattacharjee suffered serious injuries.
Gloom descended on Mirzalguda and Anandbagh localities in Malkajgiri municipality adjoining Hyderabad when the local television channels flashed the news.
Sandeep's son Sushmith, a class X student, collapsed on the bed after hearing it on his return from Takshashila School.
Sandeep's daughter Babli (20), a third year engineering student, wept inconsolably, hugging her brother Sushmit. "I want my mom and dad back," she screamed and fainted. She came to know about her parents' death after returning home from Narayanamma College at 7.30 pm on Tuesday.
According to Shikha, it was her mother Pratima Devi's long-cherished dream to visit the Amarnath shrine. "She said the pilgrimage was her last wish and wanted the entire family to accompany her. My brother, elder sister and their spouses went with them," Babli said.
The trip was planned three months ago. Initially, only Sandeep's wife and mother were planning to go. "Sandeep decided to join them at the last minute. I had advised my brother not to go to Kashmir because of recurrent news of blasts there. But they opted for Amarnath instead. It is a big loss for us," Dileep said.
Pratima, Sandeep, Chaya and Kamala left for Kolkata from Hyderabad by train on July 4 on their way to Amarnath. Kaveri and Ashis joined them in Kolkata. They were accompanied by 10 others. Their team consisted of 16 members.
"We got information from Kolkata. I called up Srinagar police who confirmed the news," Dileep said and added, "The bodies will be flown to Kolkata. Most of our relatives are there and the last rites will be held there."
Originally from West Bengal, Sandeep's family had settled in Hyderabad 20 years ago. Working as a commercial inspector in SCR, he was living with his family at Mirjalaguda.
The local residents of East Anandbagh and Mirjalaguda were shocked since the incident came close on the heels of the kidnapping and killing of a Hyderabadi-based engineer Kasula Suryanarayana by Talibans in Afghanistan on April 30. Suryanarayana's family stays in the same area.
According to a report from Srinagar, the Amarnath pilgrimage had to be called off.
Life in Srinagar limped back to normal on Wednesday with shops and markets opening and traffic plying normally.