The bodies of eight students who drowned in the boat accident on the Chaliyar River at Moorkanad in Areekode, Malappuram district on Wednesday were buried on Thursday. The students of Sub-us-Salam Higher Secondary School, Moorkanad and the people of Areekode bid a tearful farewell to the departed students during the seperate funeral ceremonies which were staggered along different times of the day at various kabaristans in the area.
Earlier it was decided not to conduct post-mortem or keep the bodies in public for people to pay tribute. The bodies were sent to the families of the children on Wednesday night. A holiday was declared for schools in Malappuram district on Thursday and a dawn to dusk hartal observed in Areekode as a mark of respect to the departed students.
Revenue Minister K.P. Rajendran said a hanging bridge would be built across the Chaliyar at Moorkanad on an emergency footing. Mr. Rajendran said he had directed all district administrations to study river crossings, which pose the danger of such accidents repeating. He said the cabinet would meet soon to decide on the compensation to be given to the families of the students.
Meanwhile, the boatman of the capsized boat, Usman complained that a few boys on the boat had tugged at the rope tied between the boat and the bank to move the boat faster and this had caused the accident. The Malappuram RDO had begun investigation into the accident and the district administration has filed a report to the Chief Minister in the afternoon.
Union Ministers E. Ahamed and Mullappally Ramachandran, Home Minister Kodiyeri Balakrishnan, Education Minister M.A. Baby, Devaswom Minister Kadannapally Ramachandran, Health Minister P.K. Sreemathy, Agriculture Minister Mullakara Ratnakaran, E.T. Mohammed Basheer M.P, M.I. Shanavas M.P, P.V. Abdul Wahab M.P and Malappuram District Collector M.C. Mohandas visited the families of the dead students and consoled them.