Tamil Nadu CM Stalin Asks Officials to Ensure Safety of Kids Near Check Dam in Cuddalore

Representational image - Sakshi Post

New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday condoled the deaths of seven girls including three minors who drowned at a check dam in Cuddalore of Tamil Nadu on Sunday. The bodies have been retrieved and sent for post mortem to the Cuddalore Government General Hospital. 

“I'm saddened by the drowning of youngsters in Tamil Nadu's Cuddalore. In this time of grief, my thoughts are with the bereaved families,” tweeted the Prime Minister's office.

Earlier, the Chief Minister MK Stalin expressed his grief over the deaths of girls and announced an ex-gratia of Rs 5 lakh each to the kin of the deceased from the Chief Minister’s Public Relief Fund. A statement from the CMO directed the administration to ensure the safety of the children bathing in water bodies. 

“The safety of children and young people bathing in rivers and pools must be ensured altogether,” the statement read. 

The CM further said, “Local authorities and the police should educate the people living in their respective areas about the dangers of water bodies, especially children and adolescents, and provide them with the first aid training in case of any casualties and explain the safe use of water bodies.”

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The deceased were identified as Priya (18), Navaneetha (18), Kumudha (18), Sangavi (16), Monisha (16), Priyadarshini (15) and Divya Darshini (18). The incident occurred around 12.45 pm when the girls went for a bath in the Gadilam River on Sunday. 

According to the police, the girls entered a 15-foot-deep pit near the check dam for a bath. Two girls were trapped inside and drowning after they ventured deeper into the pit. Other girls too drowned while trying to rescue the trapped girls. As per locals, there are several pits along the banks of the river and children come to this place to bathe. 

Meanwhile, Minister for Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Panneerselvam said an inquiry would be held to understand why the pit was dug up near the check dam. He gave Rs 25,000 cheques each as his own contribution to the families of the seven victims to carry out their last rites.

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