At least 25 people were killed when their boat capsized in the Ganga in Ballia district of Uttar Pradesh on Monday. According to a senior State police official, about 17 persons have been reported missing and efforts were on to retrieve them.

The dead comprise of nine women, nine men and seven girls in the age range of 10 to 12 years. About 16 other persons who were in the ill-fated boat swam to safety and have been referred to the Ballia district hospital.

The ADG ( Law and Order ), Brij Lal, told reporters here on Monday that the tragedy occurred near Oiballia Dubharh village at around 7.30 AM. Around 60 persons belonging to four families of Dubharh, Nasirabad and Hariharpur villages were in the boat at the time of the tragedy. They were on their way to Oiballia Dubharh village for attending a “mundan” ( tonsure) ceremony when the boat overturned due to overloading, Mr. Lal said.

Mr. Lal said a flood relief E-company of 30 PAC Battalion from Gonda has been sent to Ballia for relief and rehabilitation measures.

A compensation of Rs. one lakh each to the next of the kin of the deceased has been announced by the Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister, Mayawati.