Prez calls for probe; Union ministers to assist HP govt

Prez calls for probe; Union ministers to assist HP govt

President Pranab Mukherjee on Monday called for an investigation into the tragic incident in which 24 students of a Hyderabad-based engineering college were washed away in Himachal Pradesh's Beas river on Sunday evening.

In a message to state Governor Urmila Singh, he also called for necessary action to ensure that such incidents do not happen in future.

“I am extremely sad to learn about the accident in which some students from Hyderabad were washed away in the Beas near Thalot in Mandi district. I understand search-and-rescue operations are currently underway. I am sure that the state government is providing all possible assistance to the bereaved families of the students,” said Mukherjee in his message to the HP governor.

The President also asked the governor to ask authorities in the state to make “speedy efforts” to rescue survivors.

“Kindly ask concerned authorities to make speedy efforts to rescue survivors. Necessary action may please be taken to investigate the cause of the accident and ensure that such mistakes do not happen in future,” he said.

Condoling the loss of lives, he said, “Kindly convey my heartfelt condolences to family members of the deceased students. I pray to the Almighty to give them strength and courage to bear this irreparable loss. I also pray for the peace of the departed souls.”

HRD Minister Smriti Zubin Irani visited Himachal Pradesh and assured the state government of all possible support. She took stock of the situation and later met the state's Food, Civil Supplies and Consumer Affairs Minister G S Bali, who is also in charge of technical education. Irani assured the state of all possible assistance from the Centre.

Irani also met the faculty members accompanying the students, and later spoke to the principal of the college, assuring them of all “cooperation”.

“Was assured by Tehsildar Sadar Mandi that medical aid has been provided. I have also spoken to the principal of the college and assured him of cooperation. Our prayers are with the families in this hour of need,” wrote the minister on Twitter.

Meanwhile, Civil Aviation Minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju also left for Mandi with a special team to coordinate with local administration in rescue operations.

“The operation is being undertaken in coordination with the government of Andhra Pradesh,” said a statement from the Civil Aviation Ministry.

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