Tragedy casts a shadow on celebrations

Manjunath Kaded (26), Mahabaleshwar Ningappa Gudakatti (20), Shivaningayya Shivayya Murgodmath (15) and Manjunath Ghanti (13) were killed in the stampede at Sabarimala in Kerala on Friday night. Around 50 devotees from the village had left for Sabarimala in three vehicles on January 6.

Of the victims, Manjunath Ghanti and Mahabaleshwar Gudakatti belonged to the same family. While Manjunath was in class six and this was the first time he undertook the pilgrimage, Mahabaleshwar got married only last year.

M S Pujer, who runs a petty shop at Kallur, received a phone call from Irayya Chikmath, another pilgrim, at 6 am on Saturday informing that four pilgrims from their group were missing. “When we called Chikmath back at 9 am, we were shocked to learn that the four were killed in the stampede,” Pujer said.

The bodies of the victims are expected to reach the village by Sunday afternoon, Belgaum Superintendent of Police Sandeep Patil said.

In Hubli
Manjunath Kanakammanavar (27), a resident of Talawar Oni at Keshwapur in Hubli, was also killed in the stampede.

His family members were informed about the death by Kerala police on Saturday morning. This was Manjunath’s second pilgrimage to Sabarimala. He had left for the holy place on January 6, along with 34 others in four vehicles, and 15 of them returned on Friday itself.
Manjunath is survived by his mother, brother and a younger sister.Shekhar Shankarappa Gavannavar (34) of Hanumanahalli village in Kundgol taluk was also killed in the stampede.

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