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HindustanTimes Thu,31 Jul 2014

Beas Incident: 3 families have lost their only children

Roop Upadhyay, Hindustan Times  Mandi, July 07, 2014
First Published: 21:22 IST(7/7/2014) | Last Updated: 21:23 IST(7/7/2014)

Three out of the total twenty four families of the Beas tragedy victims have lost their only son in the incident that occurred at the Thalout area of the district in which 24 students of Hyderabad-based VNR Vignana Jyothi Institute of Engineering and Technology, along with a co-tour operator, were washed away in a flash flood that occurred due to sudden release of water from the Larji hydro power project on June 8.

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Family members shared their memories and grief on the completion of a month of the incident on June 7. Dead bodies of the three students- Mitapelli Akhil, Baswraj Sandeep and Barrineni Ritwik- have been recovered and cremated.

Akhil's cousin Srikanth who spoke on behalf of Akhil's father, Mittapelli Sanjay Kumar said, "Akhil's father is in shock and has not been able to speak about the untimely death of his son."

Srikanth said they lived in a joint family and now, he would take the responsibilities of his uncle and aunt on Akhil's behalf.

Remembering Akhil as an obedient student who earned distinction in school and hardly missed classes, Srikanth said he secured admission in VNR engineering college on the basis of merit.

Baswraj Sandeep's father, Baswraj Veeresh, shared memories of his departed son and his bitter experience with the engineering college management, blaming the college authorities for the tragedy.

"My son was not interested in this tour because he had already visited Kullu and Manali earlier. He had seen the Pandoh dam and hill areas but was forced to join the tour as the college authorities said he will lose internal assessment marks if didn't join the industrial tour," said Veeresh.

He added his son had informed him that it was not an industrial tour but a leisure trip and management of the college authorities was poor.

Veeresh recollected that Sandeep had spoken to him an hour before the incident. He said Sandeep, along with his family members, returned home on the evening of May 31after attending a marriage ceremony and found rain water had entered the house.

"Sandeep helped me clean the water till late at night. I dropped him at the railway station in the wee hours on June 1 to catch the train. He didn't sleep the whole night and then never woke up when he reached here in a coffin," he said.

Akhil's cousin and Sandeep's father said they had not yet received any money the Himachal Pradesh government, Himachal high court, Telangana government and institute had announced so far. However, the institute management had completed the formalities of fees reimbursement and clearance of other dues.

They also said after the return of the parents from Himachal Pradesh post assurances by the district administration, the parents organised a meeting at Hyderabad. It was decided that after recovery of the remaining four bodies, parents will organise a combined meeting to decide about the future course of registering cases against the institute and those responsible for the tragic incident.

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