Sad Pongal for those who lost their kin in Sabarimala tragedy

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Coimbatore, Jan 16 (PTI) It was a sad Pongal forvillagers of Thoppampatti on the city''s outskirts and those inDharmapuri district who lost some of their dear ones in theSabarimala stampede which claimed 102 lives.

Fiftyfive-year old Ramakrishnan and his 10-year oldadopted daughter were among those who died in the tragedy atPullumedu near Sabarimala on January 14.

As the villagers were waiting for the bodies afterautopsy, they were not keen on celebrating the harvestfestival. The bodies were brought last evening from Kerala andhanded over to relatives, police said.

In Dharmapuri district, bodies of seven of those whodied were handed over to relatives.

The deceased were B Sathish (33) of Kumarasamipettai,R Kumaran (43), S Mani (31), V Raghu (50), G Santhamurthy(23) of Mathikonpalayam and S Iyyappan (30) of Makkanur andR Krishnan (43) of Papparappatti.

Sathish was working as an employee in a tea stall inKumarasamipettai, his brother said. This was his 25th trip. Hesurvived by wife and two daughers.

The bodies were later cremated.

Collector R Anandakumar handed over cheques for Rs onelakh as compensation announced by Chief Minister MKarunananidhi from the Chief Minister''s relief fund to thenext of kin of the deceased.

Dharmapuri Superintendent of Police R Sudhakar saidthose not having any information of their relatives who hadgone to Sabarimala should inform the Special Branch at (04342)230989, functioning round-the-clock.

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