Beas Tragedy: Five months after, parents await justice

  • Saurabh Chauhan, Hindustan Times, Shimla
  • Updated: Nov 17, 2014 21:12 IST

Even after five months of the Thalout tragedy, where 24 engineering students from of the VNR Vignana Jyoti Institute of Engineering and Technology, Hyderabad, were washed away in the Beas river, parents await strict action against the college and those responsible for the tragedy.

The parents were here to see the proceedings of the Himachal high court, awaiting justice. On June 8, the students drowned in the river Beas near Thalout in Mandi district.

A massive search operation had been launched in to fish out the bodies of the deceased and only 23 bodies were recovered. The parents have been demanding strict action and guidelines from government, so that such tragedies do not happen in the future.

A Surya Kumar, father of deceased Akula Vijeta, said “Parents do not want money as compensation, but want the government to act sternly on the engineering institute. “If this will not happen, we will allow such incident to happen again in future,” Kumar told HT.

He added the Beas tragedy was not the first one involving the VNR College, but two students died when they were taken to Pulichintala project for an 'educational tour in October 2012.

Parents of about 14 deceased had come to Shimla to witness the hearing of the high court in this case. “We have come to witness that how far we are from justice. We are satisfied with the court's action, but want the Telangana government to initiate strict action against the institution,” said Radhakrishna, father of deceased student Gavithre.

KRKV Prasad, father of deceased Sree Harsha, said none could heal their wounds and bring their children back, but the government should not work with sloppiness. “Though investigations are on, but we want result and justice. Institution is responsible for the incident and should be penalized,” said Prasad.

“Post-tragedy, several leaders of the Telangana had come to supervise the massive search operation to fish out the bodies. Telangana home minister Naini Narsimha Reddy had assured strict action against guilty, but, parents are still waiting for the government's action, said Prasad, who is also an advocate.

“We were hopeful that government will come with certain guidelines and strict order against the institution, but nothing has been done,” he said, adding, “Telangana government has given the compensation, while the Andhra government is yet to fulfill its promise.”

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