The VNR-VJT College authorities may be staring at more trouble ahead as a past drowning incident, in which two students were killed, came back to haunt them with the victims’ parents and NGOs demanding a CID probe into the institute’s “shadow study tours” and justice to the families of 24 students washed away in the Beas river.
The parents of the two students who drowned in Krishna river waters at Pulichintala Project in Nalgonda district way back in 2012, stormed into the college along with social organisations on Monday.
“This is not the first such incident in this college’s history. Two students died on October 19 , 2012 when the college sent 36 students for a shadow tour to Nalgonda district to study cement industries there,” said Vijaya Reddy of She Help Foundation. She alleged that there were many incidents that the college had always kept under the wraps as it has connections with the ruling governments.
Eswar Rao, father of deceased Mohan Rao, a second year mechanical student, said that his son was washed away in Krishna waters at the end of the five-day study tour. Out of the four students, two were rescued by the local fishermen. Showing a picture of his son along with the teaching staff, Rao alleged that the college management refused to take responsibility by stating that the teaching staff were unaware of the escapades of the students. “This photo is a proof that the teaching staff were irresponsible just like the case of Beas tragedy,” he alleged.
K Prahlad, father of deceased civil engineering student K Ajay, said the tours were compulsory and students were warned that they would lose an academic year if they fail to take part. “Each student, at that time, was made to pay Rs 8,500 for the tour. The college management offered me Rs 2 lakh as compensation, which I refused. But after a few years, when I asked for a seat for my daughter, they laughed at me saying that an engineering seat is not a chocolate to be given away free of cost,” Prahlad, a doctor by profession, said.
Now, both the parents, along with the parents and kin of those who died in Beas tragedy, are demanding higher compensation from the college. “They should compensate as per the direction of the court, they should also allot seats to eligible kin of the deceased or missing student,” they said.
The parents of the 24 students also refused to accept the death certificates distributed by the college authorities citing that they do not have the official emblem of Himachal Pradesh government on them. However, college spokesperson Gopal Reddy said the management was ready to work on getting the death certificate from the HP government in a format that the parents find acceptable.