20 women among victims

Datia (Madhya Pradesh): Bodies of 35 pilgrims, who were washed away by strong currents in the Sindh river at Ratangarh near here on Sunday, were recovered on Monday.

The State Government announced a compensation of Rs. 1 lakh each to the kin of deceased. Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chauhan ordered a high-level probe into the incident, official sources said.

Most of the bodies recovered were of women, said Deputy Inspector-General of Police D.C. Sagar. Twenty of the deceased were women, the sources said, adding nine persons have been identified.

While relatives of missing pilgrims anxiously waited on the riverbanks, senior officials monitored the operation in the remote area, nearly 80 km from here.

The pilgrims were crossing the river to attend a religious ritual on the ninth day of the Durga festival at the Mandula Devi temple when water was allegedly released from the Manikheda dam in adjoining Shivpuri district that apparently led to the mishap. The Congress has termed the steps inadequate and demanded Rs. 10 lakh compensation to kin of the deceased and a judicial probe into the mishap. PTI