BHOPAL: The banks of the Bansagar canal reverberated with the wails of those who had lost their near and dear ones in the bus tragedy. Many of them had lost their speech, and were staring blankly at the ripples of the water in the canal. As the 47 hapless souls met their watery grave in the dark waters of the canal, it killed along with them the hopes of their families and close ones.
One of those who lost their lives in the tragedy was Yogendra Mishra, aged 31 years. He was on his way to join a private bank at Satna. Mishra had got the job after long years of efforts, but fate had other plans in store for him. As he had wanted to reach Satna before 10.30 am, he took the ill-fated bus; an now, he will never come back home again.
One of Yogendra’s friends, Deepak Mishra, told Free Press, “Yogendra — Vikas as we knew him — was very happy as he was going to join a private bank on Tuesday. He had been struggling for years to get employment and, recently, he had got married. Now, he’ll never return home to his wife again — and all for the failure of the transport department in checking illegal transportation.” Deepak alleged that the bus did not have a permit to run on that particular route and whatever permit it had expired some two months ago, but the RTO, Sidhi, had kept his eyes closed.
Exam aspirants: More than 17 girls were going to appear for the ANM exam scheduled for Tuesday. As is the custom, one man from their family accompanied each of the girls as Satna district is all of 200 kilometres away from Sidhi. In this heart-rending incident, many a brother-sister, husband-wife, father-daughter, mother-son duo perished together. They were heading for Satna to sit for the ANM entrance exam. A few others who were on their way to attend the exam were Suchila Prajapati, Sumitra Kol, Vimla Prajapati and Sushma Singh.
Some others were going on personal work. Three-year-old Namrata — along with her father, Vishwanath, and mother, Rajkali — also met her watery grave. Mother Pinkey and two-year-old son, Atharv Gupta, too, died in the accident. Sister and brother Priya Tiwari and Nimesh Tiwari; Reena Tiwari and her brother; two cousin sisters, Rajwanti Singh and Priyanka Singh; Laxmi Pnkia and Tapsya Pnkia; two cousin brothers, Ayodhya Pal and Shivnath Pal; son and father Amar Jyoti and Ramsukh Saket, were on their way for some personal work. Sister in-law Kavita Yadav and brother-in-law Kalyan Yadav, too, will never go back home again.
Member of Parliament Riti Pathak, water resources minister Tulsiram Silawat and MoS for panchayat Ramkhelawan Patel reached the spot and met the victims’ families. An amount of Rs 10,000 was given immediately to the affected families to perform the last rites.
Other leaders, such as former minister Kamleshwar Patel, and several Congressmen also reached the spot to show support for the bereaved families.