Hyderabad: A pall of gloom descended on a private engineering college here on Monday after a trip by 48 students to Himachal Pradesh turned tragic even as its management and parents clashed over the purpose of the tour.
Shocked after hearing about the tragedy last evening, the parents and relatives rushed to the college at Bachupally here since the wee hours of morning seeking information about their loved ones. Some of them burst into tears and wept unconsolably.
A group of 48 students of VNG Vijgana Jyothy Engineering College studying 2nd year Electronics and Instrumentation along with three faculty members was on a study tour when around 25 of them were washed away during a sudden surge of water when they were clicking pictures on the banks of river Beas in the hill State.
The parents and relatives complained that they did not receive any information regarding the incident from the college management and some of them vented their anger at them for allegedly not taking their prior permission and not giving any clarity before taking their wards on the tour.
The students were in two buses while a group from one of the buses went near the river for taking photographs.
"Why they (students) were taken to the river bed in the night hours? Did anyone inform us...Were the parents told about this? They only collected Rs 15,000 from each student," one Naik, father of a student Rambabu who was part of the trip, said.
"I had spoken to my son on June 5 last. His exams had completed on June 2 and he said the college management was taking them for the tour. Whether it is study tour or a picnic trip...Nothing was informed by the management," said Naik, who hails from Nalgonda district.
"After hearing the tragic news through TV last night I came at 3 AM here. The college management told us that they are taking the students to Himachal Pradesh...But so far there is no clarity," he said voicing his anger at the management.
The college management on its part said it had obtained consent from all parents concerned for the trip.
According to C Kiran Mai, Vice-Principal of the private institute, the college had obtained consent from the parents of all students for the study tour which was part of their curriculum.
The Vice-Principal`s assertion came in the wake of allegations by some parents that the college management did not inform them about the purpose of the tour.
The College PRO Gopal Reddy said the trip was a "study-cum-excursion tour".