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August 10, 2000
Pradeep survived by wife, 10-month-old son
Swapna Khanna in New Delhi
Pradeep Bhatia, the photographer for the Hindustan Times, who was killed in a bomb blast, which ripped Srinagar on Thursday afternoon, is survived by 10-month-old son Parimal and wife Suparna.
"Pradeep left for Srinagar on Wednesday morning and was staying at the Hotel Broadway. He wanted to stay with his friend Gautam Singh, a photographer with The Times of India at a hotel nearby. In fact, he was going to his friend's hotel when the blast took place, killing him and injuring several others," one of his colleagues said,
"We got a call from Pradeep's office saying there has been a blast in Srinagar and Pradeep is seriously injured. We were obviously worried, but did not expect this," said brother Naresh.
After sometime, the family got another call that Pradeep was no more.
''Hearing the news, Suparna did not move; she did not utter a word. We got scared and forced her to cry. She is not ready to accept Pradeep is no more with us,'' added Naresh.
Suparna wants someone to tell her that the news is false. She is praying for a miracle. She could not believe the news, like Pradeep's other family members.
Pradeep joined the Hindustan Times four years ago after graduating from the Delhi College of Arts, New Delhi.
''He was enthusiastic and dedicated. He has covered major news events and shot some of the best pictures the publication has ever carried," said a colleague. Pradeep had held an exhibition of his pictures in January 1999.
Suparna works with the Press Information Bureau.
Pradeep was also an amateur singer and loved to imitate Kishore Kumar. "He was very fond of movies. In fact, he named his son Parimal, after seeing Chupke Chupkem," his brother Naresh said.
"One of us will go to Srinagar along with Hindustan Times officials to bring back the body," Pradeep's uncle Deepak Kumar said.
"Pradeep's death is a major loss to the family. We have to be strong; strong enough to help Suparna and her son in their hard times," he added.
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