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CM orders action against Navy men 
Wular lake boat tragedy case

Srinagar, September 9
Accepting the inquiry report in the Wular lake boat tragedy incident in which 22 students were killed, Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad has ordered action against the four guilty Navy officials and the school principal.

Mr Azad is also writing to the naval authorities for action against the naval persons found guilty and named for negligence by the inquiry, an official spokesman said.

He said the government had accepted the findings and recommendations of the inquiry officer and decided to launch criminal proceedings against the principal of Burning Candle Public School, Handwara.

It also sanctioned additional ex-gratia relief of Rs 1 lakh to the next of the kin of each of the deceased. The committee also recommended that recognition of the school be withdrawn and suggested measures to prevent recurrence of such incidents.

The inquiry officer has held four Navy officials Lt K.S. Nehra, officer in charge naval Det (Marcos), Watlab, Krishan Khulvi boat operator, Raj Ram and Ganishan for negligence, resutling in the boat tragedy.

The inquiry officer has further recommended that criminal proceedings may be launched against the four Navy officials and principal of the school for their negligence resulting in the tragedy.

He said that the government might consider ex-gratia payment of at least Rs 4 lakh (minus the amount already paid), besides providing government job to the next of kin of each of the deceased persons.

It recommended that the recognition of the school might be withdrawn forthwith.

To avoid such incidents, the inquiry report said that school picnics should be properly planned by schools. The circular issued by the Director of School Education in May this year should be strictly adhered to by all schools, besides the consent of the parents should be sought, the picnic spot should be selected carefully, students of lower classes should not be taken to places which are unsafe and boat riding and trekking mountains should not be permitted. UNI

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