NILAMBUR: It has been a sorrowful and difficult task for Ramesh Kollarveetil, who has been waiting for days in front of Jamiyyathul Mujahideen mosque to identify the seven missing members of his family, who were buried under the landslide debris at Kavalappara. So far, he has identified the bodies of his father-in-law Narayanan and wife’s sister Bhavya, which were brought to the mosque on Tuesday and Wednesday respectively. But his wait for the remaining five relatives, including young soldier Vishnu, continues as they are yet to be found.
The mosque, which is five kilometres away from Kavalappara, has been temporarily converted into a mortuary as bodies recovered from the landslide-hit area are brought there for kin to identify. Mosque authorities have handed over the prayer hall for the same. Postmortem too is done there. Every time an ambulance enters the mosque, relatives of the missing people rush into the prayer hall to find out if their beloved one is among the bodies recovered.
Daunting task for relatives
“Everyday, relatives of missing people wait here till search operations are called off for the day,” said Ramesh. It is a difficult job for Ramesh and all families waiting at the mosque to identify the bodies as most of them are in a decayed state by the time they are recovered. “The bodies have been lying under the debris for more than six days. Most bodies reach the mosque in a decayed state.
We identified my wife’s sister’s body after noticing a special thread she used to wear around her wrist. We were able to identify her father’s body because he was short and bald,” he added. Other members who are yet to be recovered are Bhavya’s mother Kamala, brother-in-law Vishnu and his family members Jishna, Vijayan and Visweshwary.