At least five activists of Karnataka’s ruling Janata Dal (Secular) party on a break after working on general election were among some 290 people killed in bomb attacks in Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday, a government official said.
Another two from a seven-member group from the party were missing.
“We are in touch with our High Commission people to ascertain the whereabouts of the missing two workers,” Karnataka Chief Secretary T M
Vijay Bhaskar said.
The group was on an outing after voting took place on Thursday in Karnataka.
They were staying at the Shangri-La hotel in Colombo.
A suicide bomber attacked the hotel as guests sat down to a buffet breakfast.
“They were having breakfast on the second floor when the blast occurred,” Rajath B, a family friend of one of the victims, K G Hanumantharayappa, said.
“Family in India got to know of the blast from the television.”
The JDS is part of the ruling coalition in Karnataka.
It is contesting the general election in alliance with Congress Party.
The staggered general election began on April 11 and will end on May 19. JDS leader and Karnataka Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy said he was deeply pained by the loss.
“They were committed workers of our party and their death has brought immense sorrow to us,” he said on Twitter.
Kumaraswamy said he knew the victims personally.
Bhaskar said another group of visitors from the state was returning to Bengaluru from Kandy today.
Condemning the blasts, JDS supremo H D Deve Gowda said the heinous attack had disturbed peace and tranquillity in the region.
Another victim was P S Razeena, who had roots in Kerala.
A Sri Lankan national of Indian-origin who was living in Dubai, the 58-year-old woman was on a holiday in Colombo when terror struck, her family sources said.
She was buried in Colombo yesterday. Razeena was in Sri Lanka to meet up with relatives and friends, the sources said, adding she had planned the holiday over months.
Her family hailed from Mogaral, now in Kasargod district of Kerala.
Her father P S Abdullah moved to Vavuniya in northern Sri Lanka in the 1940s for trade and soon settled there.
Razeena grew up and went to school in Sri Lanka but studied for bachelor’s degree from St Agnes College in Mangalore.
She was married to Kukkadi Abdul Khader, an IIT engineer from a family in Mangalore.
Thirty-two foreigners were killed in the bomb attacks on churches holding Easter Sunday services and upmarket hotels.
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