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4 die as boat capsizes in Yamuna
24 rescued or swim to safety in Ballabgarh tragedy
Bijendra Ahlawat
Tribune News Service

Irate villagers attack vehicles of the police, government officials and fire tenders which allegedly reached the spot late after an overcrowded boat capsized in the Yamuna near Ballabgarh
Irate villagers attack vehicles of the police, government officials and fire tenders which allegedly reached the spot late after an overcrowded boat capsized in the Yamuna near Ballabgarh on Sunday. PTI photo

Faridabad, August 6
At least four persons, including two women and a girl, drowned in the Yamuna near Chhainsa village in Ballabgarh subdivision of the district when their boat capsized this morning.

Around two dozen passengers were either rescued or were able to swim to safety. While a team of divers of the Navy had been pressed into service, it could not find any body until the last report came in.

Residents, however, expressed their anger over the alleged delay in the rescue work and pelted stones, damaging vehicles of district officials. The mob also gheraoed and manhandled the MLA from Ballabhgarh, Ms Sharda Rathaur, and damaged her official car. She was escorted to safety by officials.

The Chief Minister has expressed grief over the deaths and has announced a grant of Rs 2 lakh to the kin of those killed.

According to eyewitnesses, the incident took place around 8.15 am when the passengers were trying to get into the boat from a steamer parked adjacent. The boat overturned and all passengers got thrown into the water.

Passers-by rushed for their help and rescued several of them. It is learnt that the four bodies were pulled out by the locals even before the administration reached the spot.

The deceased have been identified as Roop Chand Jatav (50), Guddi (30), Maya (35) and Manju (10). The victims hailed from Chhainsa village.

According to Sarpanch Rajender Singh, the total number of persons in the boat could be around 20 and except four, nearly all of them had been rescued. He said despite an announcement in the village, there was no report of anyone missing from the village.

The residents blamed Kaptan Singh, who had been given the annual contract of the ferry service, for the mishap. They said he had not been using the steamer which had a larger capacity. Alleging that the boatman had been under the influence of liquor at the time of the incident, they claimed that safety measures had been ignored as there was no lifeguard at the spot.

The villagers got enraged over the reported remarks by the MLA about the cause of the incident and started manhandling her.

The mob was dispersed after the arrival of a police contingent. A heavy police force was also called in from Mewat.

The crowd which kept claiming that several persons were missing, hooted at several leaders who reached the spot. These included Mr Kuldeep Bishnoi, MP, and local MP Avtaar Singh Bhadana.

It is reported that a boat had capsized a couple of days ago, but the occupants had been rescued.

According to the SDM, Ballabhgarh, the chances of anyone missing was remote, but said the search would continue until the residents were satisfied.

 

 



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