Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan on Monday said Defence Minister Rajnath Singh has accepted his request that the bodies of pilgrims killed in a bus accident in Uttarakhand be brought to MP in the Indian Air Force (IAF) aircraft. Twenty six people were killed and four others injured after the bus carrying pilgrims from Panna district in Madhya Pradesh fell into a deep gorge enroute to the Yamunotri temple in Uttarkashi district of Uttarakhand on Sunday, according to officials.
Besides the driver and the helper, there were 28 passengers on board. MP Chief Minister Chouhan along with state minister Bijendra Pratap Singh, Director General of Police Sudhir Saxena, and other senior officials had left for Dehradun on Sunday night. The MP Home Department had also issued a list of 28 passengers from Panna who were travelling in the ill-fated bus. After reaching Uttarakhand, Chouhan met the injured persons and reviewed the arrangements for their treatment.
Chouhan in a tweet on Monday said, “Urged Defence Minister Rajnath Singh ji over phone this morning that the bodies of our brothers and sisters from Panna, who died in the bus accident in Uttarakhand, be brought to Madhya Pradesh with respect by the IAF aircraft. He accepted my request. I express my heartfelt gratitude to him." The post-mortem of the victims was conducted in the night, he said. The bodies will be brought to Dehradun by 10 am on Monday and will then be flown by IAF planes to Khajuraho (nearest airport from Panna) in MP by 2 pm, the CM said in another tweet.
"Our vehicles stationed in Khajuraho will then immediately take the bodies of pilgrims to their village. We are making efforts that the bodies be brought to Madhya Pradesh with full respect and the funeral be held today itself," Chouhan tweeted. The CM had on Sunday announced that Rs 5 lakh will be given to the kin of each of the deceased and Rs 50,000 to the injured persons. He had also thanked Prime Minister Narendra Modi for announcing an ex-gratia of Rs two lakh to the kin of those killed in the bus accident and Rs 50,000 to the injured persons.