RAUTAHAT, Feb 16: Dozens of Nepalis headed for Allahabad, India to celebrate the Kumbhmela, the world´s biggest religious fair, are still out of contact following the February 9 stampede where 36 pilgrims were crushed to death.
The missing devotees, who had gone to the fair with their wives, have been identified as Siyaram Sahani, Shree Narayan Sahani, Bhoji Sahani and Ram Aautar of Bariyarpur VDC-7.
It is also learnt from Malahi VDC that Satyanarayan Sahani, Narayan Sahani and Acchelal Sahani have not yet returned home.
In addition, the whereabouts of 48 locals, who had left for the religious mega fair from Hathiyahi VDC, are still unknown, informed Prem Chandra Jha, former secretary of the Federation of Nepalese Journalists, Rautahat branch.
Meanwhile, the family of Dhurni Devi Sah, 55, of Sakhuwa Dhamaura VDC, Rautahat district, one of the deceased in the stampede, performed the last rites on Tuesday. The injured Sah had died at Gorakhpur, India while returning home after minor medical treatment, informed Jasiya Devi Sah, aunt of the deceased.
“After her death, the body was transported to Raxual check-post from Gorakhpur and then to her home. There were no difficulties in bringing her body back,” said Dhurmi.
According to Jasiya, Dhurmi had been living in the home of her parents for the last two decades. Her last rites were performed by her husband, Basudev Sah.
“Had our government provided shelter and protection for the Nepalese devotees who had gone to the religious fair, lives would have been saved. My brother would have been alive now,” mourned Hardev Sah.
However, Rautahat Superintendent of Police Govindaram Pariyar said forwarding investigations into the deaths has become difficult as the victim´s families have themselves retrieved the bodies of their near and dear ones, without going through any legal procedures.