'Bhavani was softspoken and always calm'

'Bhavani was softspoken and always calm'

“Did you have dinner?” was what Bhavani Devi, the Church Street bomb blast victim, asked her husband on the phone at 8 pm on Sunday. That was the last time Balan was able to talk to his dear wife, the 46-year-old Chennai-based businessman said here on Monday.

It was a casual conversation informing him that the family had come out to go around Church Street and MG Road.

A caring person she was known to be, Bhavani wanted to make sure her husband had supper. Little did Balan know that that would be the last time he could speak with her, before things took an ugly turn.

It was at 6 am on Monday that Balan entered Victoria Hospital to be told that his wife was no more. Just a while after Balan stepped in, his children Lakshmi, 11, and Bharath, 15, both students of DAV School, Chennai, came to the hospital accompanied by Balan’s brothers and other relatives. The children were, however, not told about their mother’s demise till their father arrived, the relatives said.

Grief-stricken family members gathered in large number at Victoria Hospital where Bhavani’s body was brought for postmortem. Following the autopsy, the family members took Bhavani’s body to Chennai on Monday afternoon. The funeral will be held on Tuesday morning.

The incident will leave a deep scar on the minds of the two children, the relatives said. “Bhavani was very softspoken. She was always calm and composed. Her daughter in particular was very close to the mother. This will have a great impact on their life,” said Rajkumar, one of the relatives.

The relatives expressed concern as Bharat would soon be writing his class 10 examinations. “It was his mother who helped him with his studies. We are hoping that her demise will not make it tough for the boy,” added Lakshmana, another relative.

Additional Commissioner of Police (Crime) Harishekaran said, “We have arranged three vehicles in which about 40 members can reach Chennai. A woman constable and another police officer will accompany the body. A Deputy Superintendent of Police from Chennai has also come to Bengaluru and will return with the relatives.”

R Ashoka, BJP leader: A terror attack of this sort has created a notion in the minds of the people that Bengaluru is not a safe city anymore. The family members of the blast victims suspect that someone had kept a watch on the place when the incident took place. The chief minister must declare selected districts of the State as high alert areas and heighten security. Even as I do not want to blame the present government, there has certainly been a flaw somewhere.

K J George, Home Minister: We request people not to believe rumours spread either through text messages or on social networking sites. They are hereby informed to bring to the notice of the police, if they find any suspicious object or a person whose behaviour is suspicious.

U T Khader, Minister for Health and Family Welfare: It is very sad that despite the efforts of the doctors, Bhavani Devi is not with us anymore. Punishment must be given to the culprits in such a manner that it sends shivers down the spine of anyone attempting anything of this sort again.

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