G.V.R. Subba Rao

NANDIGAMA(Krishna district): The environs were not filled with festivities in Anasagaram, a hamlet in Nandigama panchayat, near here, as 11 persons died in a road accident on their way to Sabarimala. The news of the accident came as rude shock when the villagers were preparing for Sankranti celebrations.

The hamlet, mostly housing lower middle class families, moved into a sombre mood on Wednesday after the tragic news spread. It was a heart-wrenching scene near houses of 11 families that lost their loved ones. Men and women in small groups could be seen discussing the unfortunate development even as the youths were preparing to receive the bodies.

But, as the news of his death broke through electronic media, Veera Raghavamma, mother of Venkata Krishna, could make out that her son was no more. But, K. Venkateswara Rao feels that his son, Sivakrirshna, is still alive and would return safely. It is not just their families that have been placed into the gloom. The entire village shares the heart-breaking incident. The villagers kept to themselves, and did not allow the media to interact freely with the family members of the deceased. The village heads kept the list of deceased secret in view of delay in arrival of dead bodies. Not just Venkateswara Rao, every family were seen praying that name of their beloved one did not figure in the list of deceased. “He (Sivakrishna) is in constant touch with me ever since he left for Sabarimala. He spoke to me yesterday also,” Venkateswara Rao said.

The devotees from this village have been going on lorries to Sabarimala, and it never happened during last 20 years. “They had gone out on Sabarimala pilgrimage. Whoever knew that they would never come back?” said K. Seshagiri Rao a villager.

More than 100 persons from this village left for Sabarimala a couple of days ago. Of them, 11 persons died on the way to Sabiramala, while 18 persons suffered injuries. The villagers are expecting that the dead bodies would arrive by Thursday afternoon.

Meanwhile, Animal Husbandry Minister K. Parthasarthy said that the state government would extend all possible help to the persons injured and families of the deceased. District Collector Peeyush Kumar and JC B. Ramaiah expressed their condolences to bereaved families.