Victims’kin, Oppn blame sand mafia

THE HANS INDIA | Apr 22,2017 , 03:33 AM IST


Tirupati: The families, relatives and friends of the victims from Munagalapalem who lost their lives in the lorry terror in Yerpedu cursed the sand mafia in one voice for the tragedy that befell on them.After coming to know the mowing down of the fourteen people to death by a lorry, the victims’ families and the entire population living in Munagalapalem reached Yerpedu and from there to SVRR hospital, Tirupati where the injured were brought for treatment. Highlights:

  • The villagers put up a fence all along the bank of Swarnamukhi, on which Munagalapalem is located to prevent the lorries or tractors entering river basin for illegally quarrying of sand.
  • The sand mafia engaged a JCB to break the fence which angered them resulting in its seizure and handing it over to Yerpedu tahsildar on Thursday
  • YSRCP and CPI activists staged dharna at the mishap site near the police station

They were later shifted to SVIMS. With anxiety writ large on their faces, the relatives and the people from Munagalapalem and surrounding villages were seen waiting at SVIMS where the injured are undergoing treatment. Both SVIMS and SVRR hospital were milling with officials, political leaders and others streaming one after another to console the bereaved families and to express their support to the affected ones adding to predicament of the sufferers who have no other way excepted looking helpless. Heartrending scenes were witnessed at the mortuary where the bodies were kept for postmortem.

The wailing of women of the families of victims and men trying in vain to console the grief stricken moved everyone. Krishnaveni whose husband Sudhakar Naidu was brought in a critical condition to Tirupati hospital was seen weeping unendingly as she was unable to see her husband or to know his condition in SVIMS.The sorrow of Devakamma, Musalipedu knew no bounds as she lost her son Hari and brother Babu while her grandson Sai (Hari’s son) was also injured in the mishap. The trio was going on a motor cycle to Civil Supplies office for making a correction in the family ration card and tragically came n the way of the rampaging lorry.

Two died on the spot and Sai is battling for life in the hospital.Munagalapalem villagers were seen lamenting out and pouring out their grief to everyone they come across in the hospital premises and exclaiming “how could a small village bear the irreparable loss of 12 people from one and the same village”. They said it was the sand mafia that dragged them to Yerpedu leading to the death of many and maiming of several of their near and dear.The villagers put up a fence all along the bank of Swarnamukhi, on which Munagalapalem is located to prevent the lorries or tractors entering river basin for illegally quarrying of sand. But the sand mafia which engaged a JCB to break the fence angered them resulting in its seizure and handing it over to Yerpedu tahsildar on Thursday.``To follow up the case against sand mafia 40-50 of our people came to Yerpedu to meet Tahsildar and also police officials to press for action against sand smugglers but also fell victim to the lorry terror ” many Mungalapalem villagers lamented.Meanwhile, the villagers of Munagalapalem and a social activist Chandrasekhar running a NGO engaged in Yerpedu mandal in one voice blamed the apathy of police responsible for the tragedy claiming 14 lives. “It is the police which is hand-in-glove with the sand mafia that brought the people to Yerpedu to stop the plundering of Swarnamukhi river. Some of the ruling TDP local leaders shielding the mafia for their monetary gain are also equally responsible for the death of the people they said adding at least now the government should open its eyes and take stern action put the sand mafia behind bars.Meanwhile, the leaders of various political parties including Congress, CPM, CPI and YSR Congress Party blamed the nexus of revenue, police and local TDP leaders with sand mafia responsible for the tragedy. YSRCP and CPI activists staged dharna at the mishap site near the police station and demanded ex-gratia of Rs 20 lakh to each of the bereaved families.By V Pradeep Kumar and K Nethaji


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