BENGALURU: The body of auto driver Santosh who was washed away in a stream on Wednesday was recovered on Thursday from a spot nearly a kilometre away from the spot where he fell. There is no trace of his auto yet.
Santosh (26) was swept away along with his autorickshaw near Gantakana Doddi off Kanakapura Main Road around 3am on Wednesday. Santosh was with his friend Vijay who managed to grab on to the branch of a tree. The two of them fell into a stream with rainwater gushing in full force while they were trying to drive the autorickshaw out of a flooded road. They were with two minor girls when the incident took place. The families of the four were not aware that they were out late at night.
His body was brought for cremation at the Banashankari Hindu burial ground on Thursday.Speaking to Express, Santosh’s mother Gowramma said, “My son usually got home around 9pm as he did not want me to be alone at home.” Santosh’s father had died nearly a decade ago.
Gowramma said that she was unaware of his plans to go out at night. “He left home saying he would return at 9pm. That night I waited till late. It was raining so heavy and it was impossible for me to go out and look for him. Where would I possibly go?” she asked.
Gowramma said she had bought a phone for Santosh. However, the phone was damaged after Santosh dropped it in water. Since then, he had not been carrying a phone and instead used his mother’s phone to make calls.“At 9am on Wednesday, I got a call from the police station saying that my son was missing. I was shocked. I neither knew the people he went with nor have I heard from him about visiting the location previously,” said a shocked Gowramma. The family, however, hails from a village near Kanakapura. She added that her son usually did not go out with friends late at night.
Long wait for cremation
His family had to wait for hours at the Banashankari Crematorium as they had not “booked in advance”. The family was told that the electric crematorium was overbooked with nine bodies to be cremated and it would not be possible to consider his body. The family had to wait for arrangements to be made to burn his body with logs.
No compensation yet
Santosh was his family’s bread winner. His mother works as a house maid. “I earn about `3,000 a month. Where will I get the rent from for the house? Where will I earn my three meals? My son who was supposed to fend for me is gone now,” she wailed. The family has not heard from the government about any compensation yet.
Grandfather spotted body
It was Santosh’s maternal grandfather who spotted his body first. “My son-in-law and I walked along the stream for more than a kilometre and saw his body trapped between a tree and a rock. We called the police who were at a distance and the body was recovered,” said Rajanna.