Lalu's sister dies, family cries shock

Tejashwi and Tej Pratap carry the body to the hearse. Picture by Nagendra Kumar Singh

Patna: Lalu Prasad's elder sister Gangotri Devi (75) died on Sunday, and the RJD chief's family members said that she could not bear the shock of her brother being sentenced to three-and-half years in prison.

"She did not have any disease but she was ill for the past two days and was coughing," said her cousin Ramanand Yadav. "She was depressed after she heard that Lalu ji has been sent to jail for three-and-half years. The doctor said she died due to a heart attack."

Asked if the biting cold could have been a reason, Ramanand said Gangotri Devi was taking all necessary precautions.

Lalu's wife Rabri Devi and sons Tejashwi Prasad Yadav and Tej Pratap Yadav reached the servant quarter of Patna Veterinary College, where Gangotri Devi lived and where Lalu also stayed for many years, within 15 minutes after Gangotri Devi died around 11am. Rabri was crying, and her sons had moist eyes.

"She was very attached to Lalu ji and for days she was praying for his release from jail," Rabri said in between sobs. "She was really depressed and in shock after Saheb (Lalu) was sent to jail. She died in depression. She w used to tie rakhi on Lalu ji every Rakshabandhan."

Lalu had six brothers of whom three have died, and Gangotri was the eldest sibling. She, a widow, had three sons; the eldest, Vaidnath Yadav, died three years back. She is survived by two sons, Rudal Yadav and Ballister Yadav, and daughter Urmila Devi.

Lalu was also informed about his sister's death through party leader Bhola Yadav, who is in Ranchi. Tejashwi and Tej Pratap took the lead in making the necessary arrangements for the body.

The cremation will take place in Chakarpani village in Gopalganj district on Monday.

Asked if Lalu would attend the last rites, Tejashwi said: "I don't think it's possible as it will take time and today being Sunday we cannot do anything to get Lalu ji out of jail. She was my father's only sister and for the past few days after the conviction of Laluji she used to tell us not to lose hope. All this happened suddenly, but we have to be strong."


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