Bengal boat capsize toll 18, government announces compensation

Kolkata, May 16 (IANS) The deaths in a boat capsize in the Hooghly river in West Bengal’s Burdwan district rose to 18 on Monday. The state government has announced monetary compensation for the victims’ families, officials said.

An overcrowded boat capsized late Saturday night near Kalna Ghat in Burdwan while on way to Shantipur in Nadia district.

“So far 18 bodies have been recovered which include three children. Seventeen of them have been identified and the process is on to hand over the bodies to the bereaved families. Nine of the victims are each from Nadia and Burdwan,” Nadia district magistrate Vijay Bharti said.

The state government has announced an ex-gratia of Rs.2 lakh each for the kin of the victims, added Bharti.

Led by the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), search operations are continuing since Sunday.

“The search for the missing people is continuing. Several divers and boats have been pressed into service. We are also trying to locate the sunken boat,” said an NDRF officer.

On Sunday, Shantipur’s Nrisinghapur Ghat jetty witnessed violent scenes after a mob incensed by the “delay” in launching the rescue and search operations, set on fire several boats and pelted stones at police, injuring two of them.

Police had to fire tear gas shells to disperse the mob. Several people have been arrested or detained in this connection.

The administration has denied any delay in the search and rescue operation.



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