Body of one more student was recovered from Beas River in Himachal Pradesh as the authorities resumed the search and rescue operation on Tuesday morning. The student was identified as Devashish Bose. This takes the total number of bodies recovered after the tragedy to five, of which three are girls.
The body was sent for postmortem in the morning itself and would be flown back to Hyderabad later in the day.
Himachal Pradesh Technical Education Minister G S Bali and Union Minister for Civil Aviation A Gajapathi Raju, meanwhile, visited the spot of the incident today morning. They also visited the barrage from where the water that led to the death of the students was released. Bali said that the state government had sought the help of Indian Army to speed up the operation.
While there is anger against the authorities in Himachal Pradesh for the alleged release of water from the barrage without proper alert, anger is also building against the college authorities.
Parents of victims, who visited the spot, are agitated over the “carelessness and negligence on the part of the Himachal Pradesh authorities”. They alleged that there was no warning before the release of water to alert the students on Sunday evening. The parents also express anger against the staff members of college who accompanied the students on the trip.
Telangana Home Minister Naini Narsimha Reddy, who is in Himachal Pradesh, said he would submit a report to Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao. According to the Telangana minister, it is a case of sheer negligence.
“We will write to the Prime Minister seeking legal action against the authorities of Himachal Pradesh as well as the college management,” he said.
Tarun Subha Rao, uncle of one of the missing students, demanded FIR against the college and arrest of those guilty. Some parents also expressed their anger alleging that the search operation was slow.
On Monday, Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh, who flew to Mandi, had ordered a high level inquiry, headed by Divisional Commissioner of Mandi Onkar Sharma, and suspended two engineers and a fitter of Larji Hydropower Project for alleged negligence.
A group of 48 students and 11 staff members who were touring Kullu-Manali, had got down at Thalout, little realising that there was a tragedy waiting for them. Twenty-four students and tour operator Prahlad went missing after flash floods.
The shop had stored over 20 drums of kerosene that fuelled the blaze and it quickly spread through the entire building.