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Uttarakhand floods: Father recounts his son's death in his arms

Updated: June 24, 2013, 11:31 AM IST
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Uttarakhand floods: Father recounts his son's death in his arms
Hari Om said that one of his sons Aman died in his arms and he helplessly kept looking at the body.

Aligarh: The killer flash floods and landslides in Uttarakhand have taken a heavy toll of life and property. Several hundred people have died while thousands still remain stranded.

One of the survivors Hari Om Verma, who was on Chardham Yatra, narrated his tragic and painful experience. He saw several members of his family being killed in the floods and landslides and had lost the hope of surviving. He added that one of his sons Aman died in his arms and he helplessly kept looking at the body. He said that he was so helpless and could not cremate his son's body. According to Hari Om, he covered his son's body with the quilt and left it in Kedarnath.

Hari Om had gone on the pilgrimage with his wife, two sons and a daughter. There were eight other people in the group and they were inside the Kedarnath temple on Sunday at about 10 am.

After coming out of the temple they decided to move on when at around 12 noon they saw a massive landslide and water rushing down the hills. They decided to stay in Kedarnath and took shelter in Agra dharmsahala.

Nothing much happened during the night which they spent praying to the god. On Monday morning around 7 am they woke up hearing the sound of screams of people screaming about the floods. When they looked out, they saw that the entire town was flooded.

Hari Om and his family ran up the stairs to the second floor but water reached the second floor too. Almost sensing death, Hariom took his family to the third floor. The building was three stories tall and it was not possible to go any further, said Hariom.

They kept on praying for their life but the water reached the third floor. Suddenly the whole building collapsed like a pack of cards and his entire family was buried in the rubble.

A pillar fell over Hari Om while his wife Rashmi, elder son Aman, younger son Krishna and daughter Megha were buried in the rubble. Other relatives, too, were buried in the rubble. Shubham, his nephew, was the top of the debris and it was he who pulled out Hari Om from the debris.

Hari Om saw Aman in the debris. He and Shubham pulled out Aman alive, but the boy was in a very critical condition. For almost three hours Hari Om tried to revive his son but he died in his arms.

Hari Om was with his son's body on the upper floor of the dharmshala but the survivors asked him to move to a safer place. So Hari Om wrapped his son's body in a quilt and kept it in the building with the hope that the when situation becomes normal, he will return and take his son's body.

Recalling the terrible scenes Hari Om and Shubham say that dead bodies were littered around in Kedarnath. Many survivors were badly injured with others were crying hysterically and searching for their loved ones. According to Hari Om some local people were busy looting the belonging of those dead. He saw many people removing ornaments from the dead bodies.

First Published: June 24, 2013, 11:31 AM IST
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