Mohali, August 2
The remains of seven victims who drowned in Gobind Sagar Lake in Una were taken to their hometown of Banur on Tuesday, where a large number of people had gathered to offer their condolences to the bereaved.
Six youths from Bazigar Basti, who were part of a group of 11 pilgrims, drowned while trying to save a 15-year-old Shiva, who had entered the lake to take a bath after the pilgrimage. Their bodies reached Banur from Una around 4 pm.
The deceased, identified as Pawan Kumar (35), Raman Kumar (19), Lal Singh (18), Shiva (15), Lakhvir Singh (16), Arun Kumar (14) and Vishal (18), were cremated on the commission cremation site where the pyres were lit simultaneously. Pawan, Raman and Lal belonged to one family while Arun and Lakhvir were siblings.
The siblings’ father, Lal Chand, has been bedridden for the past year due to multiple leg fractures, while their mother is a housewife.
“Lal Chand was taken to the cremation site with assistance. The two had three older sisters, who are married,” said Ramesh Kumar, Lal Chand’s cousin.
Ravi, the older brother of victim Vishal, said: “He worked as a waiter at private parties and weddings. He was the second of three brothers. My father and mother work as domestic workers at a diner. The group had left for the pilgrimage on Monday morning by bicycle. We received information about the tragedy around 5:00 PM.”
Shiva, alias Bhupinder Singh, was the first to enter the lake, while others rushed to save him. “Shiva was the only son after two daughters of my older brother, Avtar Singh. Yesterday he told us that he was going to Naina Devi. His grandfather had asked him not to go anywhere but to the shrine,” said Krishan Kumar, the uncle of the victim who brought Una’s body. The government of Punjab on Tuesday announced Rs 1 lakh compensation to the families of the seven victims. Rajpura MLA Neena Mittal has also met the relatives of the deceased and offered condolences.