'Give Me Rs 10 for Agarbatti': Kin of Muslim Boy Who Died During Ganesh Immersion Recall His Last Words

Bhopal: Parvez was excited to be celebrating his fifth Ganesh Chaturthi and dashed out of his home without having dinner on Thursday night even after his mother’s insistence.

Sitting inside a cramped shanty, 11-year-old Parvez’s inconsolable mother recounts moments before the tragedy claimed her son's life. He was among the 11 people who died during the Ganesh statue immersion in a lake on the intervening night of Thursday and Friday. In the locality, Parvez was known for his devotion to Ganesh.

“He came home in a hurry, untied his shoes, and told me he was going to take part in the immersion of the Ganesh statue,” his mother recounted. “I asked him to have his dinner and sleep. But he said he must go as it was his fifth year of the festival.”

Like every year, Parvez had been enthusiastic about the festival — the devastated mother remembers him asking her for Rs 10 to buy 'agarbattis' (incense sticks) and then leaving in a hurry.

After the death of her husband, Saeed, years ago, Parvez’s mother looked after the family of two sons and a daughter and worked as a domestic help.

The oldest of the siblings, Shahrukh said Parvez had strong affection for the Ganesh festival from his childhood. Since the age of four, Parvez would spend time at the festival committee office whenever Ganesh Chaturthi came around.

Parvez was among the devotees who drowned while immersing the statue of Ganesh in the lower lake’s Khatlapura ghat on Thursday night. The small boat turned over when the idol was being pushed into the water. The bodies of 11 people, including that of Parvez, was recovered on Friday — he was the only Muslim in the group of Hindus.

The deceased, all aged between 11 and 30 years, were natives of Piplani area that falls under Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited’s industrial township.

The locals bade a tearful adieu to Parvez as his funeral procession was taken out from the cramped bylanes of the locality.