P. Venkata Durga Tarun’s body is the ninth, of the 24 students washed away, to be retrieved

The body of P. Venkata Durga Tarun, one of the 24 engineering students from the city swept away in the Beas in Himachal Pradesh on June 8, was recovered from the river on Wednesday.

Search teams noticed two bodies floating in the waters, 10 yards from the shore after a four-kilometre-long stretch of rocky river bed. Personnel of the National Disaster Response Force retrieved the two bodies.

Though bloated, Tarun’s body was identified by the college faculty. However, the second body, they said, did not belong to any of the 24 students or that of the tour operator, Prahlad, who were washed away in the river. Residents told police that the victim looked like a local, but they too could not identify him.

Tarun’s was the ninth body to be retrieved so far. Though eight bodies were recovered within the first four days of searches, there was not much headway after that.

It was after five days of fruitless searches that the body of Tarun was fished out on Wednesday.

“Continued spells of rains and strong winds are making search difficult, but our efforts are on. After the four-kilometre-long stretch of rocky river bed, the following 14-km stretch is deep and wide with strong currents of water,” senior IPS officer Rajiv Trivedi, who is coordinating with the local administration, told The Hindu over phone.

‘T’ cops change strategy

Members of Telangana Police Water Sports Team decided to change their strategy from Thursday. Instead of going into the deep waters, they would be stationed at observatory points on the river stretch four-km downstream of the Largi Dam, to Pandoh Reservoir, and look out for bodies using binoculars.