Nairobi victim's last rites performed

Last Updated 28 September 2013, 18:25 IST

Eight days after he was killed in the massacre at Nairobi’s Westgate Mall, the mortal remains of Sudarshan B Nagaraj was brought to his farmhouse in Hejjala on Saturday. The last rites were performed in the evening at Banashankari crematorium in the City.

Sudarshan (50), who was into stationery and concrete machine exports, was gunned down by masked men who invaded Westagate Mall on September 21. It took eight days of paperwork and formalities to bring the body to his house.

 Poignant scenes were witnessed as the ambulance carrying the mortal remains reached the house at 1 am, two hours beyond the expected time. Several relatives and friends had assembled at the farmhouse (Sreedhar farm) to pay their last respects. Among the visitors was 90-year-old Anji, who began working for the family when Sudarshan was born.

“ I was working as a gardener. The family had a house in Basavanagudi,” said the nonagenarian fighting his emotions. Most of the workers in the family have been with them since three generations.

“My parents used to work for them when his (Sudarshan’s) grandparents were around. There are many of us like that. The family has taken care of us all these years,” said Gunda Hanumaiah, in his eighties.  His 30-year-old son also works for the family at present.

“Things will change forever for those of us working here. He would play cricket with our children whenever he had time. He loved chatting with us,” Hanumaiah recalled.

According to relatives, Sudarshan’s father, Nagaraj, was the first in Bangalore to own a concrete making machine. Sudarshan took over the family business and expanded it by increasing foreign liaisons.

 “His business was concentrated in Ghana. He had business partners in other countries as well. He would keep travelling frequently,” said one of his brothers, speaking to Deccan Herald.

Sudarshan, a bachelor, was the youngest of the siblings. He is survived by two elder brothers and an elder sister. He lived in the farmhouse along with his elder sister and brother-in-law.

“He had helped many secure jobs. He would rent out a wedding hall attached to the farmhouse, at concessional rent to villagers around,” his brother Sridhar said. Three Indians perished in the ambush on the shopping mall in Nairobi.

(Published 28 September 2013, 18:02 IST)

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