Eleven pilgrims from four villages in Medak district died in a road accident at a town about 20km from Pudukkottai in Tamil Nadu on Friday. On learning of the tragedy, the kin of the dead arrived at Naraspur police. A pall of gloom descended on the four villages Manthuru, Reddipally, Chintakunta and Kazipeta.
Medak district TRS president Murali Yadav, Mandal revenue officer Bhikshapathi and circle inspector Mr Saidulu left for Pudukkottai on Sunday evening. They will reach there by Monday morning. “They are on their way to make necessary arrangements to bring back the bodies,” Medak superintendent of police G. Chandana Deepti said.
, TRS leader T. Harish Rao said: “The state government will take all necessary measures to bring back the bodies. The Tamil Nadu government has been requested to provide the best treatment possible to the injured persons. The government will do the needful for their families.” TRS working president Mr K.T. Rama Rao expressed his grief over the tragic incident and promised help to families of the dead.
Mr Mahesh Goud, cousin of Mr Praveen Goud, one of the dead, said: “He was only son of his ageing parents and the family’s sole breadwinner. Praveen ran a small business. Suresh and Praveen were friends.”
The dead were identified as Praveen Goud, 21 and Suresh, 22, of Chintakunta; S. Shiva Prasad, 23, and A. Shyamsundar Goud, 22, of Manthuru; Amberpeta Krishna Goud, 22, and Nakka Anjaneyulu, 40, of Reddipally; K. Nagaraju Goud, 35, Boina Kumar, 22 and Jurru Mahesh, 24, of Kazipeta in Medak district; Sai, 22, of Mangapur in Sangareddy district; and driver Rajesh of Kompally in Hyderabad.
The injured were identified as Srisailam, D. Raju, K. Bhuma Goud, S. Venkatesh and Ramesh. Four more pilgrims received bleeding injuries and are being treated at a hospital in Thirumayam, about 90km from Madurai.
The pilgrims, most of them farmers, were visiting nearby pilgrim centres before returning home after a pilgrimage to Sabarimala. Their van (AP 28 TD 6809) collided with an oncoming truck on the Thirumayam bypass road around 2.20pm. The pilgrims had told their family members they would reach home late on Monday night or by Tuesday morning. Police said they set off for Sabarimala in a van hired from the city on January 2. The driver was identified as Rajesh of Hyderabad.
“The pilgrims completed their pilgrimage at Sabarimala and were visiting nearby temples. Rameswaram was their last planned halt,” said Narsapur circle inspector Saidulu.
All the dead had an agriculture background and some of them were related.