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UPA-II anniversary celebrations cancelled

Manmohan announces Rs. 2 lakh each for families of victims

New Delhi: President Pratibha Patil and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh led the nation in condoling the loss of lives in the Mangalore plane crash and as a mark of respect to the deceased the government cancelled functions for celebrating first anniversary of UPA-II on Saturday.

Dr. Singh announced compensation of Rs. 2 lakh each for the families of those killed and Rs. 50,000 each to those injured in the crash from the Prime Minister's National Relief Fund.

The President expressed her deep grief and sorrow and condoled the loss of lives, a Rashtrapati Bhavan spokesperson said.

Vice President Hamid Ansari said he joined all citizens in sending condolences to the members of the bereaved families and “praying to the Almighty to grant them the strength to withstand this immense loss.”

As a mark of respect to those who died in the tragedy, the government postponed a function slated for the evening to release the government's report on completion of one year in office.

A dinner to be hosted at the Prime Minister's residence as part of the celebrations was also put off, a statement from the PMO said here.

Congress president Sonia Gandhi, senior BJP leader L.K. Advani, BJP president Nitin Gadkari along with a host of other leaders also condoled the deaths caused by the air crash. — PTI

Anita Joshua writes from Islamabad:

Pakistan Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani on Saturday sent a condolence message to his Indian counterpart Manmohan Singh over the loss of lives in Saturday's crash of an Air India Express aircraft in Mangalore.

In his condolence message, Mr. Gilani said: “I was deeply shocked to learn of the tragic crash of an Air India Express aircraft this [Saturday] morning in Karnataka, resulting in the loss of many precious lives.

On behalf of the government and the people of Pakistan, and on my own behalf, I would like to convey our deepest condolences and sympathies to the bereaved families.”

Haroon Habib writes from Dhaka:

Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has expressed deep shock over the huge loss of lives in the Air India Express plane crash in Mangalore.

In a message to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Ms. Hasina said the government and the people of Bangladesh were profoundly shocked at the huge loss of lives.

She expressed her deep sympathy to the members of the bereaved families and prayed for eternal peace of the departed souls.

Ms. Hasina hoped that the government and the people of India would soon be able to overcome the tragedy.

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