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Assam boat capsize: 6 arrested

A diver at the accident site in Jorhat.  

The Jorhat police in eastern Assam on Sunday arrested six persons in connection with the September 8 ferry mishap in which at least two persons died. A third has been missing.

“They have been arrested on charges of causing death due to negligence,” Jorhat’s Superintendent of Police Ankur Jain said.

Three persons working in the private boat were picked up for questioning, while several officials were summoned for recording their statements, Mr. Jain said. “We have arrested six Inland Water Transport (IWT) Department staff from Nimati Ghat after finding out that they had not followed the procedures. The accident could have been avoided,” he said.

The police have registered a case under Section 304 (culpable homicide not amounting to murder) read with Section 34 (criminal act done by several persons for the common intention of all) of the Indian Penal Code, and all the accused have been charged with these provisions, Mr. Jain added.

Three questioned

“Three persons working in the private boat at Kamalabari in Majuli district were also picked up for questioning. We are coordinating with Majuli Police and a team from Jorhat will reach there,” the police officer said.

Asked whether any IWT officer has been taken into custody, Mr. Jain replied in negative but said that many officials posted at Nimati Ghat were called for questioning for recording their statements.

“Presently, we are trying to reconstruct the scenario and find out how the accident took place,” the SP said without sharing further details.

The collision took place when private boat ‘Ma Kamala’ was heading towards Majuli from Nimati Ghat with passengers and vehicles, while government ferry ‘MB Tipkai’ was coming from the world's largest river island.

Visiting the accident spot the next day, Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said that in the initial probe, “mismanagement” was found to be the prime reason for the accident.

Meanwhile, various agencies such as NDRF, police and district administrations are conducting an extensive searchfor the missing person.

(With PTI inputs)

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Printable version | Oct 26, 2021 1:42:42 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/assam-boat-capsize-6-arrested/article36422929.ece

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