IDUKKI/NEW DELHI: It was around 5.30 pm on Tuesday and young Adone was chatting with his mother Soumya over phone when there was a huge sound, screams and the video call got disconnected. Young Adone and his father Santhosh never thought that was the last time they would chat with Soumya. The family of Soumya, who was killed in a mortar shell attack at Ashkelon in Israel, is yet to come to terms with the tragedy.
“Soumya was having her lunch and chatting with my brother and her son. She said there was an attack by Hamas in the area and they had been advised to shift to a fortified shelter. She had packed the belongings and was about to leave when the shell landed on the house. She enquired about the health of all family members and was discussing family matters when the call got disrupted,” said Saji, brother of Santhosh.
Santhosh is a farmer and has four sisters and a brother. Two of his sisters, Sherly and Sophie, were working in Israel and they had arranged a job for Soumya seven years ago. “I had worked in Israel for 13 years and returned home three months ago. Sherly, Soumya and one of my cousin brothers continued in Israel. There was no such attacks in recent past,” said Sophie.
Soumya’s sister-in-law Sherly Benny, who works in Israel as a caretaker, said the authorities have announced that a fighter jet participating in the attack will be named after Soumya. The Indian Embassy in Israel has promised steps to send Soumya’s body to Kerala on May 18, Sherly told TNIE over phone.
“The family has to submit some papers to complete the proceedings for sending the body. Santhosh has submitted the papers to the airport authorities in Kerala. An Air India flight will be coming to Israel on May 17 which will return the next day. The authorities have promised to complete the proceedings within a week and send the body on May 18,” she said.
Sherly said 80-year-old Naomi Perlman, whom Soumya was attending to, had sustained grievous injuries in the attack and was recuperating. Soumya was planning to return to state after 3 months, her relatives said.