It was all chaos outside Jabbar Travels office at Lakdi-ka-pul here on Wednesday morning after reports of the ghastly bus accident were flashed on TV. Relatives of passengers rushed there to check if their dear ones were safe, but mostly got bad news.
Most of the passengers are said to be below 30 years, and many were coming to the city to celebrate Diwali with family.
Akshay Singh (22) too was on his way home to spend Diwali with his two brothers, parents and relatives. Akshay, a software engineer, had been working in Bengaluru for over a year-and-half. His relatives Ramesh Singh and Bavitha Singh, who arrived at the travel office hoping against hope, only got a shocking news. An inconsolable Bivitha Singh, Akshay’s aunt burst into tears once it was confirmed that Akshay was among the dead.
“He always comes by this bus and would be home by 7 am. Also, he makes sure that he comes home every month,” said Bivitha Singh. Akshay’s two elder brothers, Ashish and Akash, too are software engineers, in Hyderabad. His uncle, Ramesh Singh said Akshay’s mother is no more and father is too sensitive to be informed of the tragedy.
Akshay had called them after 10 p.m. on Tuesday after boarding the bus and was expecting his arrival in the morning. “Usually, he starts from Bangalore on Friday night and returns on Sunday night,” said Ramesh Singh.
Some of his relatives lost their cool and tried to manhandle the staff at the office. Rakesh Singh and other relatives alleged that the bus lacked fitness and the operator had been running illegal services without paying tax up to `12 lakh. “All these travels buses run at lightening speed and are so reckless and irresponsible. Moreover, they flout all norms and should be taken to task now,” said Rakesh Singh.
The family of 24-year-old Farooq Ali too could not believe the tragic fate of their favourite son. His mother Shameema and sister Niloufer broke down after being informed of Ali’s death. “He works for a private firm in Bengaluru and was visiting family here,” said an inconsolable Niloufer, refusing to speak further.
Relatives of Azmatullah (45) and his wife Zainab (35) find it hard to accept the death of the couple, along with daughter Usma (7). The list with the operator had only Azmatullah’s name. “Azmatullah lives with his family in Bengaluru and he was visiting his in-laws here,” said Abdul Azeez, a relative.