UP man was flying to Nepal to thank Lord Pashupatinath for son’s birth

Thirty-five-year-old Sonu Jaiswal, a liquor store owner who was among the five Indians killed in a plane crash in Nepal on Sunday, had gone to pay obeisance at the famed Pashupatinath Temple in Kathmandu after his wish for a son was fulfilled around six months ago, his relative said.

As the news of the plane crash reached Chak Jainab village in Ghazipur district of Uttar Pradesh, the shocked villagers gathered at his house.

Jaiswal has two daughters and he took a vow to visit the Lord Pashupatinath Temple if he had a son, his relative and Chak Jainab village head Vijay Jaiswal told PTI.

“Sonu, along with his three friends, had gone to Nepal on January 10. His main purpose was to pay obeisance to Lord Pashupatinath as his wish to have a son, now six months old, has been fulfilled. But the fate had something else in store for him,” said a visibly emotional Vijay Jaiswal.

Sonu Jaiswal ran a beer shop in the district. They have another house in Alawalpur Chatti but are currently living in Sarnath, Varanasi.

“Sonu’s wife and children have not been informed about the incident yet. They are in another house,” he said.

His friends were identified as Abhishek Kushwaha, 25, Vishal Sharma, 22, and Anil Kumar Rajbhar, 27.

Sharma belonged to Alawalpur Chatti village in the Badesar area, Rajbhar was a resident of Chak Jainab and Kushwaha of Dharwa in the Nonhara area, a police spokesperson said.

According to locals, Rajbhar operated a ‘Jan Sewa Kendra’ (public service centre), Kushwaha was in the computer business and Sharma worked as a computer operator in a two-wheeler showroom.

Villagers said the four were to return to Ghazipur on Tuesday after paragliding in the popular tourist hub of Pokhra.

The fifth Indian in the plane was identified as Sanjay Jaiswal.

At least 68 people were killed when a Yeti Airlines passenger plane with 72 people on board, including five Indians, crashed into a river gorge while landing at the newly-opened airport in central Nepal’s resort city of Pokhara on Sunday, officials said.

There is no information about any survivor so far, an airline spokesperson said.

Ghazipur District Magistrate Aryaka Akhauri told PTI over phone that the administration has reach out to the affected families.

“Our sub-divisional magistrate and other officials are meeting them. We are also in touch with the embassy…. We will do the needful after the recovery of bodies,” she said.

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath condoled the deaths and said officials have been directed to coordinate with the Ministry of External affairs to bring the mortal remains of the deceased to the state.

In a tweet in Hindi, the chief minister said, ‘The plane crash in Nepal is very sad. Humble tribute to all the people including Indian citizens who were killed. My condolences are with the bereaved families. May Lord Shri Ram give place to the departed souls at his holy feet and speedy recovery to the injured.’

‘Officials have been instructed to coordinate with the Ministry of External Affairs to make arrangements to bring the mortal remains of the deceased people of Uttar Pradesh to the state,’ the chief minister said in another tweet.

Yeti Airlines’ 9N-ANC ATR-72 aircraft took off from Kathmandu’s Tribhuvan International Airport at 10:33 am and crashed on the bank of the Seti River between the old airport and the new airport minutes before landing, according to the Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN).

A total of 68 passengers and four crew members were on board the aircraft. The flight time between Kathmandu and Pokhara is 25 minutes.

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