The death toll in Monday's boat tragedy in Ballia in Uttar Pradesh went up to 62 as more bodies were retrieved from the the Ganga on Tuesday.
The tragedy occurred near Oivallia village when the overloaded boat carrying members of four families capsized midstream. Reports from Ballia said that about 80 people were in the boat, including the local band players. The villagers were on their way to attend a “mundan”(tonsure) ceremony.
A First Information Report was lodged at the Haldi police station by one of the survivors against boatman Harivansh of Hariharpur village. It was alleged that he was the among the first few to jump out when the boat started sinking. And he fled the scene.
Hunt on for boatman
The ADG (Law and Order) Brij Lal said that a hunt was on for the boatman. Mr. Lal said the dead comprised 20 men, 20 women, 14 girls and eight boys. He said post-mortem examination had been conducted on 48 bodies so far.
The Ganga in Ballia district in the far eastern corner of Uttar Pradesh grows wider and the volume of water increases. The enhanced water volume is attributed to its major tributary, the Ghagra.
The spot where the tragedy occurred is considered to be one of the deepest points of the river. Reports said when the boat reached midstream river water started entering into it causing panic among its occupants. And people started jumping into the river. While some able-bodied men swam to safety, the others drowned.
Mr. Lal said that no law and order problem was caused on account of the boat capsize.