Bhabani Shankar Rath (55) fought back tears as people poured in to offer their condolences.
“The last time I was invited to address a gathering was when Jayanta topped his college in 1998,” he said. “Once again, I stand in front of an audience to talk about him. But, unfortunately, this time to mourn his death.”
Accompanied by his wife Durgesh Nandini Rath (49), Bhabani — father of Hindustan Times journalist Jayanta Kumar Rath — was speaking at a condolence meeting held at Press Club in memory of his son on Friday.
Jayanta was killed on the night of May 7 after he was reportedly mowed down by a train at the New Delhi Railway station. The police are still investigating the mysterious circumstances under which the 26-year-old journalist died.
The gathering at Press club comprised friends, fellow journalists, and acquaintances of Jayanta, who were present to commiserate with the family and share memories of him.
“In a batch of 41 students, he was the most amiable. We all changed five years down the line, but he remained just the same,” said Rahul Tripathi, a fellow journalist and Jayanta's batchmate at the Indian
Institute of Mass Communication.
“He was liked by everyone for his optimistic nature. He would never crib or complain,” said Sumant Banerjee, another batchmate of Jayanta.
Moved by the love and affection shown by those present, Bhabani said, “I used to draw my strength from Jayanta, but now it’s the support shown by everyone here that will keep me going.”