Body of schoolgirl spotted in Godavari

Fishermen from Valasatippa on Monday spotted the body of Tirukoti Priya, 13, one of the six girls who went missing in the Vruddha Gauthami following the boat tragedy that took place at Pasuvullanka of I. Polavaram mandal on Saturday.

They informed the rescue teams, who, in turn, shifted the body to the base camp at Yanam.

Double tragedy

With this, the number of bodies fished out from the river has gone up to two, and search operations were going for the five other girls. The body of Gella Rani, 35, was spotted by the fishermen on Sunday evening.

Confusion prevailed among the public and the police when the body of Kadala Vasu, 30, was washed ashore during the day, as the official list indicated the missing of six girls and a woman. During the preliminary investigation, the police found that Vasu was a history-sheeter and a resident of Rajupalem in Mummidivaram mandal and went missing five days ago. They made it clear that he was not a victim of the boat tragedy. Meanwhile, Nimmana Naga Babu, 33, relative of two missing girls — Polisetti Anusha and Suchitra — was killed in a road accident at Gedellanka while he was on his way to visit the girls’ parents. The motorcycle he was riding hit an electricity pole and Naga Babu succumbed to severe head injury. Earlier in the day, residents of Pasuvullanka staged a protest demanding action against boat owner Saladi Venkateswara Rao. Subsequently, he surrendered before the Mummidivaram police.

Along with Home Minister N. Chinarajappa, local elected representatives and officials, Chairperson of the Andhra Pradesh Women’s Commission Nannapaneni Rajakumari took stock of the search operations.

Speaking to the media, Ms. Rajakumari felt that the ex gratia in the case of girls be increased to Rs. 5 lakh. “The government has already announced Rs. 3 lakh for girls, but what I suggest is that it be increased to Rs. 5 lakh, on a par with the adults.”

Mr. Rajappa said that helicopters from the Navy were pressed into service and the search operations would be continued further.

The whereabouts of three other girls — Kondepudi Ramya, 14, Polisetti Maneesha, 12, and Sunkara Sreeja, 14, were yet to be known.

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