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Amid lockdown, parents of Army officer forced to travel 2000 km for his last rites
Colonel Navjot Singh Bal's parents are driving from Gurugram to Bengaluru to attend his funeral.
In his long road journey from Gurugram to catch the last glimpse of his son, Colonel Navjot Singh Bal, Karnail Singh Bal entered Karnataka Saturday evening amid Covid-19 lockdown.
"We are on the road, I'm not sure where we are, the driver is driving. I think we should be in Karnataka now," Bal told IANS.
Bal and his wife are driving from Gurugram to Bengaluru to attend the funeral of his son Navjot, 39, who succumbed to cancer on Thursday.
Gurugram to Bengaluru via Vadodara is around 2,348 km farther south.
Eighteen hours ago, Navjot's brother Navtez Singh Bal tweeted that his parents reached Vadodara in Gujarat, 968 km southwest of Gurugram. Bengaluru is another 1,380 km southeast of Vadodara.
Bal said, "I don't know in which hospital my son passed away in Bengaluru, because I was at Amritsar, I have no information, only once I go there, I will find out."
Bal, a former Army officer himself, said Navjot was the commanding officer of 2nd Para Regiment of the Indian Army in Bengaluru and married with two sons.
Navjot's family has decided to conduct the final rites in the city itself, instead of their hometown, owing to the prevailing difficult situation arising from the lockdown.
"I should go to Bengaluru rather than disturbing the whole family. His wife and children are in Bangalore, and some of his relatives are in Bangalore," said Bal.
Bal highlighted the prospect of everybody going all the way to their hometown would inconvenience and disturb everybody's family life in lockdown conditions.
The former Army officer said the government has facilitated the long road transit amid the lockdown and said they are self-contained in terms of food in the journey.
"Yeah, Yeah. Without support, I wouldn't have been able to come here," he said.
"Please don't ask me many things because I am not sure what is good or what is bad. I hope you understand. But the bottom line is yes, I am reaching there."
Likewise, Bal was also not sure what time he would reach Bengaluru and said he would sleep if it gets dark.
Around 4 p.m. on Saturday, Navtez tweeted that his parents were 650 km away from Benglauru.
"Quick update. Now 650 km away from Bengaluru. Massive support and help from the Forces (Armed) and police. Everyone at the frontline is doing a fantastic job in managing the spread of the virus," tweeted Navtez.
On Thursday, Navtez tweeted that his parents were figuring out a way to reach Bengaluru to perform the last rites of his brother and hoped that the Forces (Armed) would not force his parents to drive more than 2,000 km to reach Bengaluru.
"I hope that the Forces will also be able to say 'they can't force them to drive 2,000+ km to get to Bengaluru," said Navtez.