At least eight Indians are confirmed to have been killed in the serial suicide blasts across churches and luxury hotels in Sri Lanka, that left 290 dead and several injured on Easter Sunday, officials said on Monday.
The victims include six Janata Dal (S) workers from Karnataka, who were in Colombo on a vacation and staying at the Shangri-La Hotel, and a woman from Kerala, P.S. Raseena, who was identified by Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan.
Of four persons of another group from Karnataka, who were staying at Kingbury Hotel — all relatives of Yelahanka MLA S. R. Vishwanath — two are reported to be severely injured and in ICU while the other two have escaped unhurt.
Many in the group of JD(S) workers had called home just minutes before the blast to say that they were safe.
The dead have been identified as L. Ramesh Gowda, 44, from Tumakuru, K.M. Lakshminarayan, 53, and H. Shivakumar, 62, owner of Harsha Hospital from Nelamangala, realtors K. H. Hanumantharayappa, 53, M. Rangappa, 47, and Maaregowda, 45, — all from Bengaluru.
The seventh member of the group Puttaraju, 37, also a realtor from the city, is yet to be traced.
Chief minister and JD(S) leader H.D. Kumaraswamy expressed shock over the incident and offered condolences to the families.
Another group of four Bengalureans on a business trip to Colombo were staying at Kingsbury Hotel. Of whom two were at the cafeteria on Sunday morning having breakfast when the bomb went of. Purushottam Reddy, 47, and Nagaraj Reddy, 47, have been severely injured and being treated at hospitals in Colombo. While the former is out of danger, the latter is critical, said their relative and city MLA S R Vishwanath, over phone from Colombo. Two of their associates, Ramesh and Prasanna, stayed put in their fourth floor and escaped unhurt.
Senior IAS officer Anjum Parvez, nodal officer from Karnataka, said Mr. Puttaraju would be traced soon and efforts were underway to ensure that the bodies of the deceased were brought back to Bengaluru at the earliest. They would reach the city by Tuesday evening or Wednesday, he said.