Vadodara Boat Capsize: Manager, Staff Of Boating Firm Among 18 Booked For Negligence


A day after 14 lives were lost and several injured in a boat capsize in Vadodara, an FIR was filed against 18 persons in connection with the incident, the police said on Friday.

According to Harni police, among the 18 booked for negligence were the manager and employees of Kotia Project, the private firm handling the boating in the Harni legzone.

Preliminary investigation suggests that the boat was packed beyond capacity, the police informed.

A total of 27 people were onboard the boat during the accident, the police said, adding that it had a capacity to seat 14.

The FIR alleged further that the passengers were not given life jackets and neither were they given a run-through on the safety guidelines.

The victims belonged to a group of 80 that included children and teachers from New Sunrise School in Waghodia, the police said, adding that they had arrived for a school picnic on January 18.

The 12 deceased children included seven girls and five boys. They were identified as Roshni Pankajbhai Shinde (10), Rutwi Pratik Shah (10), Jahabiya Mohammad Yunus Subedar (10), Sakina Sokat Abdulrasur (9), Alisabanu Mahamad Umar Kothariwala (9), Muvavza Mohamed Mahir Sheikh (8), Nancy Rahul Mali (8), Asiya Faruk Khalifa (11), Mohammad Ayan Mohammad Anis Gandhi (13), Vishv Kumar Kalpeshbhai Nizama (10), Altaf Hussain Mansoori (9), Ryan Harun Khalifa (10) and Farooq Khalifa (10).

Also among the deceased were two teachers identified as Falguniben Manishbhai Patel (52) and Chhayaben Hitendrabhai Surti (56).

The Opposition demanded a judicial inquiry into the incident, alleging negligence.

Raising allegations against Vadodara Municipal Corporation, Leader of Opposition in Gujarat assembly, Ami Rawat, questioned the allotment of the boating contract to a private firm.

“This was an act of murder, not an accident. We demand a probe into this incident by a sitting judge. It is a sheer act of negligence,” Rawat said.

“No life jackets or lifeguards were in the boat at the time of the incident. Criminal proceedings should be initiated against those found responsible. In 2016, when this project was allotted to contractors, we had objected to it,” she added.

On Thursday evening, Gujarat Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel met the injured victims at the hospital in Vadodara.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, earlier, condoled the loss of lives in the incident and also announced an ex-gratia of Rs 2 lakh each from the Prime Minister’s National Relief Fund (PMNRF) to the next of kin of the deceased and Rs 50,000 each to the injured.

The Gujarat government also announced Rs 4 lakh each for the next of kin of the deceased and Rs 50,000 each for the injured.

President Droupadi Murmu, too, mourned the lives lost in the incident. “The news of the death of children and teachers in a boat accident in Vadodara, Gujarat is extremely sad. I express my deepest condolences to the bereaved family members and wish for the success of the rescue operation,” President Murmu posted from her official X handle. (ANI)

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