• Death toll rises to 290, 500 injured
• 24 local Sri Lankans arrested for terror attack
Bengaluru: Four Janata Dal (Secular) party leaders from Karnataka were killed in Colombo and three others are yet to contact their families after Sunday’s serial bomb blasts in the Sri Lankan capital Colombo that killed 290 people and injured more than 500.
Karnataka Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy tweeted: “I am deeply pained at the loss of our people in the #colombo attacks. Out of the seven missing after the #TerrorAttack, four have been declared dead. Their names are – Lakshmana Gowda Ramesh, K.M. Lakshminarayan, M. Rangappa and K.G. Hanumantharayappa. Kumaraswamy said three others — H. Shivu Kumar, A. Maregowda and H. Puttaraju — were missing.”
TV channels reported that most of the leaders were from Chikkaballapura district. They had left for a vacation after campaigning in the Constituency.
Earlier, confirming the presence of the JD(S) team in Lanka, Kumaraswamy had tweeted: “I am shocked to hear that a 7-member team of JD(S) workers from Karnataka, who were touring Colombo, has gone missing after the bomb blasts in #colombo. Two of them are feared killed in the terror strike. I’m in constant touch with the Indian High Commission on the reports of those missing.”
According to TV reports trickling from Bengaluru, the JD(S) team — Kacharahalli Govindappa Hanumantharayappa, Hanumaiah Shivakumar, Kacharahalli Munibyrappa Lakshminarayan, Adakamaranahalli Maregowda, Horekyathanahalli Puttaraju, Lakshmana Gowda Ramesh and Muniyappa Rangappa had gone to Sri Lanka to arrange for the itinerary of over 30 JD(S) party workers who were scheduled to leave to Colombo on a trip.
The seven-member team had gone to Colombo on Apr. 20 to oversee the arrangements before the arrival of other team members. Reports said that they were staying in room 618 and 619 at Shangri-La luxury hotel where suicide bombers struck yesterday. Reports said that the seven members were Class-1 PWD contractors.
“I am deeply pained at the loss of their lives in the heinous attack. They were also committed workers of our party and their death has brought immense sorrow to us,” Kumaraswamy said. “The Chief Secretary’s Office is in constant touch with the Resident Commissioner at Karnataka Bhavan, New Delhi, and the families of the victims and the missing persons for further information on them,” he said.
Police said today that 24 people had been arrested, all of whom were local Sri Lankans. There has been no claim of responsibility for the dastardly attack yet.
External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, via her Twitter account, has been responding to queries about missing family members. One of the relatives of JD(S) workers tweeted to her, “missing people who were at Shangri-la before blasts, unable to connect the m after the blast. Help needed — Puttaraju from Horekyathanahalli, Maaregowda from Adakimaranahalli, Lakshminarayana, Ramesh.”