Beas tragedy: A year on, students' kin yet to come to terms with loss

Beas tragedy: A year on, students' kin  yet to come to terms with loss

It was on June 8 last year that 24 BTech students from the Bachupally-based VNR Vignan Jyothi Institute of Engineering and Technology (VJIET) were washed away in water released from the Larji Dam on Beas river in Himachal Pradesh.

In all, 48 students accompanied by two lecturers were on an industrial tour as a part of their curriculum when tragedy struck.

A large contingent of rescue teams drawn from the ITBP, HP Police, AP Special Police, NDRF, SSB and Indian Navy had launched a massive search operation downstream with the help of sonar technology, but the bodies were so putrefied that the police had to use DNA to confirm their identities.

The parents of the missing students had a harrowing wait. The last body was fished out 42 days later.

However the search failed to locate the body of Sri Harsha of New Nallakunta.
The parents of Ritwik, who lived in the same locality, left the area after their son’s death.
“June 12 was our son Akhil’s birthday. He carried a new pair of clothes to the trip for the day, but tragedy struck before that,” said parents Sabitha and Sudarshan, recalling the farewell they gave their beloved younger son at the Secunderabad railway station.
Robin Bose, father of Debasish (21), said he was living with the help of his son’s memories. “His mother is still in shock. I ran on the banks of Beas for a day till the search teams found my son's body on the night of June 10,” he said.

Kasarla Krishna Reddy, whose daughter Rishita died in the tragedy, carries around the photographs he found in her mobile phone, which she left with a friend who stayed back on the banks of the river. Rishita called her parents at 4:30 pm, two hours before the incident.

“Rishita’s body was the last to be found. I refused to see her body. I wanted to remember her as she used to be,” said her grand mother Rajahamsa.


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