The Indian High Commission in Sri Lanka on Tuesday reported two more deaths of Indian citizens in the serial blasts that struck the island nation on Easter Sunday taking the casualties from India to 10. The High Commission identified the two deceased Indians as A Maregowda and H Puttaraju.
Maregowda and Puttaraju were part of a seven-member team of Janata Dal (Secular) workers touring Colombo. Four workers were declared dead on Monday.
“We just got to know about his death, [External Affairs Minister] Sushma Swaraj has tweeted,” a friend of Puttaraju’s brother told PTI. “Finally we have heard what we were suspecting. It was a long wait... While those with him [Puttaraju] were declared dead and their bodies have been traced, we had not got any information about his status.” Karnataka Chief Minister and JD(S) leader HD Kumaraswamy said he has requested the Indian High Commission officials to speed up the process of bringing home their bodies.
The High Commission has asked Indians in need of assistance in the country to contact 94777903082, 94112422788 and 94112422789.
The overall toll in the bombings rose to 310 on Tuesday. More than 500 people were wounded in eight blasts that took place at churches, hotels and a guest house. The police have so far arrested 40 suspects, including the driver of a van that was allegedly used by suicide bombers involved in the blasts.
A state of emergency took effect at midnight on Monday, giving the country’s military the power to detain and interrogate suspects without court orders. No group has yet claimed responsibility for the attacks on three churches and four luxury hotels. Sri Lankan minister and government spokesperson, Rajitha Senaratne, on Monday had said a local outfit identified as the National Tawheed Jamath is suspected of plotting the serial blasts.