Mandi: Three more bodies were recovered from Beas river on Sunday fourteen days after 25 persons, including 24 engineering students from Hyderabad, were swept away in the river on June 8, taking the number of those found to 16.
Rescuers recovered the bodies which surfaced in Pandoh Dam, and the three were identified as Bairinene Ritwik, C H Parmeshwar and Muppidi Kiran Kumar, Mandi Superintendent of Police, R S Negi said.
With this, 16 bodies have been recovered and nine more persons, including three girls and a co-tour Prahlad, are to be found.
On Friday a body of a student was found, thirteen days after 25 persons, including 24 students from a Hyderabad engineering college, were swept away in the river. The deceased has been identified as Sairaj of AS Rao Nagar in Hyderabad.
Search operations are still on as only 13 bodies have been found so far. On Thursday, three bodies were recovered. The three deceased students were identified as Shiva Prakash Varma, Ashish Mantha and Machrala Akhil, Deputy Commissioner Devesh Kumar said.
Earlier on Wednesday, one body was recovered. The deceased had been identified as P Venkata Durga Tarun, Mandi SP, R S Negi said.
The swollen body floating in the river was spotted by rescue team members, who fished it out of the river. “The swollen body surfaced near the Pandoh dam, about 12 km downstream Beas from the accident spot,” Jaideep Singh, commanding officer of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), said. “More bodies, which are in the process of bloating are likely to surface in next two or three days,” he said.
Massive search operations, aided by advanced technology, were launched to locate 24 BTech students of VNR Vignana Jyothi Institute of Engineering and Technology,
Hyderabad, and a tour leader, who were washed away in Beas river on June 8 after sudden release of water from the reservoir of the Larji hydro-power project near Thalot.
Singh said one more body was recovered from the river on Wednesday, but it was not of any of the missing Hyderabad engineering students. The rescue operations would continue to recover the remaining bodies, he added.
About 600 rescue personnel of NDRF, Army, Police, ITBP and 50 expert divers are engaged in the search along 15-km stretch of Beas river from Thalot to Pandoh Dam.
Meanwhile Former Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Shanta Kumar on Wednesday said the tragedy at the Beas river in Mandi, in which 24 youngsters were swept away, was not an accident but a “murder” and the culprits must be punished.
The BJP leader and Rajya Sabha MP slammed state Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh for “giving clean chit” to Larji dam authorities who had released the water leading to the drowning of the engineering students on June 8.
“The Beas river tragedy in Himachal is not an accident but a murder of 24 innocent young citizens,” Kumar said in Dharmshala.
Replying to reporters, Shanta said though this “killing was not intentional”, yet the culprits must be punished under the law. “I am surprised by the clean chit of the CM to the water releasing authorities without waiting for the investigation results,” he said.