Sunday, April 15, 2001,
Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

12 feared dead in HP boat mishap
Pratibha Chauhan and Munish Sood

Jaisinghpur (Kangra), April 14
Six persons were drowned when a boat ferrying them across the Beas river from Harsipattan to Sandhol, to attend a local fair, capsized due to overcrowding in the Jaisinghpur subdivision, today. According to PTI, the number of persons feared dead was 12.

The deceased include five Nepali Gorkhas, who were working as labourers with a contractor. The boat, with a capacity of about 20, was carrying almost double the number when the mishap took place. The people were on their way from Harsipattan in the Jaisinghpur subdivision of Kangra to Sandhol, on the other side of the Beas. They were all going to attend the Nalwad fair at Sandhol, which falls in the Sarkaghat subdivision of Mandi district.

The six deceased are Dorjee, Tsering, Karn Kharka, Sunil, Raju, all Nepali Gorkhas, and Roshan, a resident of Chambi village. The incident is reported to have taken place around 2.15 p.m. and the nearest police station at Lambagaon was intimated at 2.40 p.m. The six bodies were brought to Jaisinghpur within an hour of the mishap in the hope of saving the victims. However, in the absence of any doctor at the Jaisinghpur hospital, no medical aid could be provided. All six bodies kept lying in the open ground, next to a private clinic.

An eyewitness, Tashi, a Napali Gorkha, said that apart from the boat being in a worn out condition, it was overcrowded. The SDM, Jaisinghpur, was not available, as he was away accompanying the local minister, Mr Ravinder Thakur.

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