Families lose their breadwinners

Tragedy in Sabarimala:

Families lose their breadwinners

Shattered: The relatives of Manjunath Kaded grieve in Kallur in Dharwad district on Saturday morning. DH Photo

Seven families of the taluk lost their breadwinners in the accident near Nilkal Road cross which reportedly triggered the stampede in Sabarimala on Friday night.

The seven devotees –– one from Shindhikurbet village and rest from Gokak town –– were returning in a jeep from Bulaved after witnessing the Makara Jyoti, when the vehicle rammed into an autorickshaw near Nilkal road.

A bus coming from behind crashed into the jeep and all the three vehicles plunged into a  gorge, eyewitnesses told Deccan Herald.

The deceased devotees have been identified as Purushottam Balappa Pujeri (53), Basavaraj Fakirappa Mirji (35), Siddaram Mallappa Murkibhavi (18), Pramod Shivaputrappa alias Doddanna Bhuti (21) Chandrashekhar Lagamappa Gundakalli (28), Prakash Yallappa Pujeri (35) and Chandrakant Bhosale (25). The bodies of the victims are expected to arrive on Sunday evening and the last rites will be performed the same day.
Tahsildar Preetam Nasalapur contacted the families of the victims and consoled them. He said almost all the victims were bread winners of their families.

Purushottam Balappa Pujeri, who has been visiting Sabarimala for the past 17 years, went to the pilgrimage with a special prayer this year –– to pray for his pregnant daughter.

Pujeri’s family have not come to terms with the death of the head of their family and their only breadwinner.

Pramod Shivaputrappa (21) was also the sole earning member in his family comprising his parents and a mentally retarded brother. He was working as a waiter in a hotel. Prakash Pujeri, a construction supervisor, has left behind his wife, an aged mother and two small kids. Basavaraj Mirji, an auto driver, is survived by his aged mother.

Siddaraj Murkibhavi and Chandrashekhar Gundakalli were part of joint families and were working as helpers at a shop for Rs 3,000 a month.

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