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Bihar aid for kanwariyas

- No sign of Hemant relief, toll up

Bokaro, Aug. 4: Another kanwariya from Chas subdivision, injured by the high-tension wire in yesterday’s morning mishap in Bihar, succumbed to his burns at Bokaro General Hospital late last night, taking the toll to five, while three among the 10 injured are critical.

The kin of Nawal Mandal, who died in hospital, and Manoj Kumar Singh, Naresh Singh, Krishna Singh and Virendra Kumar, electrocuted on the roof of the pilgrims’ bus, are getting Rs 3 lakh and Rs 1 lakh from Jharkhand and Bihar chief minister relief funds. This apart, Bihar State Electricity Board offered Rs 2 lakh each for the kin of the deceased.

While the Rs 3 lakh compensation from Hemant Soren’s relief fund has not been released yet, his Bihar counterpart Jitan Ram Manjhi was prompt. Today, Chas SDO S.N. Ram went to Amdiha village in Chas to hand over Bihar’s cheques to bereaved families.

The state has also announced that it will bear medical expenses of the injured.Right now, 10 victims of yesterday’s accident are admitted to Bokaro General Hospital. Three are critical, confirmed Bokaro DC Uma Shankar Singh. “They are still senseless. Seven are out of danger, but are in ICU as nursing plays an important role in burns treatment. Prevention of infection is paramount,” he said.

Singh added that it was surprising that a major accident occurred in the 32nd year of the tour organised by the Chas Dak Bam Kanwariya Sangh.

“I am surprised that they got double-deckers for the trip knowing well that Banka district in Bihar where the mishap happened has narrow roads and low wires. In future, we won’t allow religious trips unless clearance is taken from the administration on routes and modes of transport,” he said.

M.K.P. Singh of Chas Dak Bam Kanwariya Sangh sounded defensive. “For three decades, everything was fine. Now, blame is falling on us. We rely on donations, including buses, and take whatever comes our way, including double-deckers,” he said.

In the Assembly, Bokaro MLA Samresh Singh demanded Rs 10 lakh and a job for each bereaved family.