Gadwal: Woman drowns as bid to avoid stamping goes wrong


Jogulamba Gadwal: A possible ploy to avoid getting stamped for home quarantine while entering the State, went tragically wrong after a woman passenger of a car got swept away in flash floods in a rivulet which was in spate in Jogulamba Gadwal district on Saturday. Two other car passengers, one of them husband of the woman, managed to swim to the shore. A hunt is on to locate the woman, who police suspect to have drowned.

The disturbing incident unfolded on Saturday morning in Jogulamba Gadwal district, which borders Kurnool of Andhra Pradesh. The three car passengers Shivakumar Reddy, his wife Sindhu Reddy and their friend Jeelani Basha were on their way to Hyderabad from Kadapa district in their small car. With the health authorities manning the toll plaza at Pullur stamping the hands of those entering the State with quarantine restriction, the trio in the car possibly thought of bypassing the check point at the toll plaza.

They took the rural route getting off the national highway at Pullur village. The road connects to the National Highway again after crossing another village Kalugotla. In between these two villages, they tried to drive through a rivulet, Pedda Vaagu, which was in spate. It was not clear whether the car stalled midway in the gushing waters, but the vehicle got swept away.

Sivakumar Reddy and Jeelani Basha managed to jump out and swim to the shore. Even as they watched, the Alto was swept away for some distance. They could see Sindhu getting out of the car and getting washed away.

As the horrified husband and his friend watched, Sindhu was lost in the swirling waters. The rivulet drains into Tungabhadra river, which in turn joins Srisailam reservoir. Local people are skeptical about finding her alive as the entire region had received heavy rainfall during the last 24 hours. Every rivulet in the region is in spate, locals say.

The route via Pulluru and Kalugotla villages, bypassing the check point at the toll plaza, appeared to be the favourite for many motorists, who would transport people either to Telangana or to Andhra Pradesh to escape being stamped for home quarantine. It is said that taxi operators are making a killing by transporting people from Kadapa to Hyderabad and vice versa by charging over Rs 3,500 per trip. As the health authorities of both the States were very strict in stamping the hands of travellers and making it mandatory for being in quarantine for 14 days, people were opting this route, locals say.

Meanwhile, people’s cooperation has been sought in locating Sindhu Reddy, but till reports came in last, there was neither information about she being found alive or otherwise.


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