Bihar boat tragedy: PIL in Patna HC seeking independent probe

| Updated: Aug 23, 2017 11:20 IST

Patna [India], Jan. 16 (ANI): A Public Interest Litigation (PIL) was filed in the Patna High Court today seeking directions for an independent inquiry into the horrific boat tragedy, where 24 people lost their lives as the vessel capsized in the Ganga river. Meanwhile, the Patna District Magistrate has been removed from a three-member inquiry team investigating boat tragedy which claimed 24 lives on Makar Shankranti. The team is headed by Principal Secretary of State Disaster Department Pratyaya Amrit and Deputy Inspector General of Police Shaleen. Chief Minister Nitish Kumar today said an inquiry should be conducted objectively and from all angles. He instructed the inquiry team to find out at which level the lapses took place and assured that the officers responsible for dereliction of duty will not be spared at any cost. He expressed resentment over the advertisement of tourism department mentioning to provide free cruise facility for those who will participate in kite festival. (ANI) Earlier, an FIR was lodged against the operator of the boat that capsized on Saturday in the river Ganga. The operator, who was also on the boat at the time tragedy struck, was one of the lucky survivors. However, the FIR was registered against him as the number of the people onboard was reportedly more than the vessel's capacity. Amateur footage of the tragedy confirmed that the boat was carrying passengers, from a kite flying event, well over its intended capacity. The dramatic visuals of the capsizing boat show several passengers swimming towards safety and a few seem to have been pulled into the waters along with the sinking boat. The boat was carrying around 40 people, of which 24 have been declared dead so far. Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad told ANI that arrangements should have been more robust, while assuring that an inquiry will expose loopholes and the defaulters will be caught. Prime Minister Narendra Modi sanctioned an ex-gratia of two lakh rupees each to the next of kin of those died in the Bihar boat tragedy. He also approved 50 thousand rupees each to the seriously injured persons from the Prime Minister's National Relief Fund. (ANI)