Congress announces compensation for activists killed in Kerala

March 28th, 2008 - 6:40 pm ICT by admin  

(Lead)

Thiruvananthapuram, March 28 (IANS) The Kerala state Congress president Friday announced a compensation of Rs.500,000 each to six party workers killed a day earlier when a truck crushed them in Ernakulam district. About 500 Congress workers from Pothanikad village, about 200 km from state capital Thiruvananthapuram, were on their way to attend a party meeting when a truck rammed into them.

Two people died instantly and five others in hospital. A dozen others are still in hospital. The dead included a Class 12 student Movin.

In a press release issued here, state Congress president Ramesh Chennithala said Rs.100,000 would be contributed by the All India Congress Committee (AICC), while the rest would be given by the state unit.

“There will be no fund collection drive for this, instead we would use our own resources. The AICC has also decided to give Rs.25,000 each to the those who were injured in the accident. The treatment cost would be borne by the party. We are also planning to set up an education fund to help the children of those who lost their lives,” read the statement.

Earlier, the bodies were kept in a hall here to allow the public to pay their respects. A service in their memory was also held before the bodies were sent to the victims’ homes for the funerals.

The entire top brass of the Congress party’s state unit was present at the public service and met the victims’ families.

The state government has asked the Ernakulam district collector to hold an inquiry into the incident and submit a report.

“The Ernakulam district collector is expected to give a detailed report to the government later in the day and then the government will decide what needs to be done,” said Transport Minister Mathew T. Thomas.

Ernakulam District Collector M. Hanish told reporters that the vehicle was found in good condition and was also fitted with a speed governor.

“After visiting the accident site I have found out that this was a case of reckless and careless driving,” said Hanish.

The driver of the truck is in police custody.

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