Thiruvananthapuram/Kozhikode: Amid heart-rending scenes, the mortal remains of eight Keralites, who died at a resort in Nepal, were cremated on Friday.
Five of them hailed from Thiruvananthapuram while the remaining three were from Kozhikode.
While bodies of Praveen Nair and Saranya were cremated, their three children - Sree Bhadra (9), Aarcha (7) and Abhinav (4) - were laid to rest in a single burial pit in Chengottukonam in Thiruvananthapuram.
The last rites of Kozhikode residents Ranjit Kumar (39), his wife Indulakshmi (34) and son Vaishnav (2) were performed at Kunnamangalam.
The deceased were among a group of 17 tourists from Kerala who had stayed at the Everest Panorama Resort in Daman, a popular tourist spot in Makawanpur district, some 70 km south of Kathmandu.
Praveen and Ranjit, both IT professionals, were classmates at the Sree Chitra Tirunal College of Engineering in Thiruvananthapuram and the tour was arranged after a get-together with friends in New Delhi.
Gas leak from the room heater appears to be the reason for their deaths.
Hundreds pay last respects
Hundreds of sobbing mourners - relatives, friends and neighbours - were among those who queued up with flowers and wreaths to pay their last respects to Praveen, Saranya and their children.
Kerala ministers and leaders of various political parties also attended the funeral.
The caskets carrying the five bodies had reached Thiruvananthapuram past Thursday midnight from New Delhi, and five ambulances took the bodies to their home.
Friends and family members comforted the aged parents of Praveen - Krishnan Nair and Prasannakumari. Kerala Health Minister K K Shylaja also visited the parents.
Kerala demands probe
Meanwhile, Kerala government urged Nepal government to conduct a detailed probe into the deaths of 8 Keralites and demanded adequate compensation for their families.
During a meeting with MPs from the state, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan asked them to ensure compensation for the victims.
"The Nepal government should conduct a detailed probe for which the central government should intervene," a press release from the Chief Minister's office said.
The state government had written to the External Affairs minister S Jaishankar, Pinarayi said, adding he would once again write to the union minister on the matter.
According to the manager at the resort, Shiva KC, eight of them stayed in a room and turned on a gas heater for warmth and all the windows and the door were bolted from inside.
All eight of them were found unconscious when hotel staff went to deliver morning bed coffee. Doctors declared them brought dead when they were rushed to a hospital in Kathmandu on a helicopter.
Postmortem of the bodies was conducted at the Tribhuvan University Teaching Hospital in Kathmandu.
Nepal government has formed a five-member team to investigate the incident. The team has been asked to submit a report within 15 days.