Chilika boat tragedy: Co-driver of boat held, driver still absconding

Bhubaneswar: Police today arrested the co-driver of the ill-fated boat that capsized in Chilika Lake on June 16 leaving six persons dead. However, the driver of the boat is still absconding and efforts are on to nab him.

The co-driver identified as Arjun Behera was arrested by Balugaon police from his house at Samantarapur in Khurda district. He will be forwarded to the court today, informed police sources.

Earlier on June 17, the owner of the boat, Basant Behera was arrested by police. So far, two persons have been arrested in connection with the incident.

On June 16, a boat carrying as many as 17 passengers including 15 tourists from Bhubaneswar and Nayagarh capsized in Chilika Lake leaving six persons dead.

Odisha government had announced an ex-gratia of Rs 4 lakh each for the kin of the deceased and free medical treatment for the injured in the boat capsize incident.

Principal Secretary of the Commerce and Transport department had said that 20 life jackets were present in the boat and blamed ‘heavy wind’ for the mishap.

On the other hand, Minister Sahu had said that the condition of the boat was not right and a hole in it caused the accident.