Search operation continues to trace two more bodies
Madikeri: The National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) team, which is continuing ‘Operation Brahmagiri 2’ since Aug. 13 to trace those who are missing following the landslide at Gajagiri Hill next to Brahmagiri Hill in Kodagu, has found another body in a decomposed state yesterday morning.
The body found buried under the mud and in a decomposed state at a distance from Nagatheertha, has been identified based on the finger ring as that of Ravikiran Bhat (29), a resident of B.C. Road in Madikeri. Sources said that he was the Assistant Priest of Talacauvery.
As there is a protected forest below the landslide site, Forest Department staff was conducting regular beats in the area and as the forest staff knew every inch of the forest, the search was conducted under their guidance from the spot, where the body of Chief Priest Narayanachar was found to a distance of five kilometres.
At about 11 am yesterday, the body of Ravikiran Bhat was found in a decomposed state and as the place was very narrow, the NDRF personnel, with the help of ropes, lifted the body of Ravikiran. As the body could not be identified on the spot, expert doctors were summoned from Madikeri to the spot to help in the identification of the body and the doctors were only able to identify the body as that of a male. As there were doubts that whether the body was that of Ravikiran Bhat or of Srinivas Bhat, information was collected from the family members of Ravikiran and the body was identified as that of Ravikiran Bhat, based on the finger ring on the decomposed body.
The family members of Ravikiran and Srinivas were present at Talacauvery, which was helpful in identifying the body. So far, the bodies of Chief Priest of Talacauvery T.S. Narayanachar, his brother Anandathirtha and Assistant Priest Ravikiran Bhat have been found and the NDRF personnel have launched a search to trace the bodies of Shantha Narayan and Srinivas Bhat.
Compensation cheques distributed
Meanwhile, District Minister V. Somanna yesterday distributed compensation cheques of Rs. 5 lakh each to the families of Narayanachar and Anandathirtha yesterday. District Minister V. Somanna, Mysuru-Kodagu MP Pratap Simha, MLA K.G. Bopaiah, MLC Sunil Subramani, DC Annies Kanmani Joy, SP Kshama Mishra, Tahsildar Mahesh and officials of various Departments were present during the search operation, which is continued today also.
It may be recalled that following a major landslide at the holy place of Talacauvery in Kodagu district in the midnight of Aug. 5, five persons — Talacauvery Temple Chief Priest T.S. Narayanachar (70), his wife Shantha Narayana (68), Shantha’s brother Anandathirtha and relatives Ravikiran Bhat and Srinivas Bhat had gone missing as a portion of the Brahmagiri Hill collapsed on two houses where the priests lived due to heavy rains.
The NDRF team had recovered the body of T.S. Narayanachar on Aug. 11 while the body of Anandatheertha was recovered on Aug. 9.