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Beas tragedy: One more body found

Mandi: One more body of an engineering student from Hyderabad was recovered Tuesday from the Beas river, taking the total number of retrieved bodies to 21.

Police said this is the second body to be found in the last 24 hours.

Three students and a tour operator are still missing and the search continued in the river for the 23rd day.

The body, badly decomposed, was that of Baswaraj Sandeep.

Twenty-four students from the V.N.R. Vignana Jyothi Institute of Engineering and Technology were swept away near here June 8 after water was released into the river without warning from the nearby 126 MW Larji hydropower project.

The focus of the search operation has been on the 15-km-long downstream stretch of the river from the Larji project dam to the Pandoh dam, said police.

The Himachal Pradesh High Court in Shimla June 25 ordered an interim compensation of Rs.5 lakh each to the families of the drowned students.

A division bench of Chief Justice Mansoor Ahmad Mir and Justice Tarlok Singh Chauhan, which treated a media report as a public interest litigation, also made it clear that a criminal probe into the matter will continue and it will monitor its progress.

It ordered compensation of Rs.5 lakh each to the families of those killed, and said of the total compensation amount, Rs.2.5 lakh will be paid by the state-run Larji hydropower project, responsible for the release of the water into the river, while the college will pay the balance.

The amount should be deposited with the court by or before July 9, the next date of hearing.

A first information report has been registered against the Larji authorities on charges of endangering life or personal safety of others and causing death by negligence.

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