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Kalkaji temple tragedy: Tina was sole caregiver for our son suffering from cancer, says her husband

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NewsDrum Desk
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New Delhi, Jan 29 (PTI) She was the sole caregiver for their 21-year-old son suffering from blood cancer, says a grief-stricken Ved Prakash, whose wife Tina died when a stage collapsed at south Delhi’s famous Kalkaji Temple, wondering just how he would manage without her.

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Tina (49), a resident of Tughlakabad extension, used to daily visit the temple at 4 am to pray for her ailing son's better health, he said.

On Saturday night, she had gone to the temple to attend a ‘jagran’ (religious function) but became victim of a tragedy when at 12.30 am an elevated wooden platform at the venue collapsed, killing Tina and injuring 17 others.

According to police, Tina was close to the platform when the incident happened.

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"When I used to be busy with my work, my wife took care of our son who is suffering from blood cancer," Prakash said.

The couple has three sons Varun (21), Vikas (24), and Balraj (29).

“Varun is suffering from blood cancer and my wife was the only one who was taking care of him. His medicines, food... everything was handled by Tina," Prakash told PTI.

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Recalling events of the tragic night, he said, "It was around 12 am when I returned home and got to know that Tina had gone to Kalkaji temple with some women of our locality to attend a jagran.” “Balraj called her at around midnight and Tina told him that she would return by 12.30, but later we got a call from the police informing us about her death," Prakash said, adding that they were waiting outside the mortuary to get her body.

“Soon after getting the call, my son Balraj and I reached the temple, where we saw people in injured condition. We visited Kalkaji police station, where we got to know about her death," Prakash said.

More than 1,600 people attended the jagran organised at the Mahant Parisar of Kalkaji temple. Singer B Praak also performed at the programme. According to sources, he had left the venue before the incident happened.

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The wooden platform could not bear the weight of the people sitting on it and collapsed, injuring those seated on it and close to it on the ground, Deputy Commissioner of Police (southeast) Rajesh Deo had said, adding that no prior permission had been granted for the event.

Prakash demanded strict action against the organisers and demanded financial help for his family.

"I got to know that the organisers did not take any permission from the police to manage this program. Police must take strict action against those who are guilty,” he told PTI.

“My younger son is already facing a lot. I hardly earn around Rs 20,000 monthly by selling vegetables. If the government helps us financially, I would be able to take care of my ailing son," he said.

According to police sources, the temple management had hired event planners to organise the jagran. An FIR was registered against the organisers and a probe is underway into the matter. PTI BM NB

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