Dhenkanal boat tragedy: boatman arrested

Dhenkanal: Police today arrested boatman Bauribandhu Behera in connection with the boat capsize incident that took place on Mahasivratri day at Chandipal Ghat under Bhuban block in the district in which six persons were killed.

Behera, who was running the unauthorised country boat, is likely to be produced in court today, police said.

Meanwhile, Revenue Divisional Commissioner (RDC), northern range, NBS Rajput has started an investigation into the boat tragedy. Rajput, along with Dhenkanal collector Rupa Roshan Sahoo and other administrative officials, visited the victims’ village Surapratappur yesterday and talked to the rescued persons and neighbors. The RDC advised the villagers to use roads as much as possible for communication.

“There is a bridge few kilometers away from Chandipal ghat. But, people had chosen short cut route through boat to reach their destination. I advised them to utilize the bridge to avoid any such incident in future”, Rajput said.

The incident occurred on March 7 when 30-35 residents of Surapratappur village were crossing the river on the boat to reach Daudeswar Shiva temple in Gondia for Mahashivratri celebrations.

Five dead bodies were recovered from different places on the river bank within three days of the incident while a girl Rubia Rout (19) who had been rescued alive, had died in the hospital on that fateful day.

Persons, whose bodies were covered from the river, are Kalia Mohanty (11), Babina Rout (13) Satyanarayan Swain (9), Sipan Mohanty (9) and Sagarika Mallick (17). All of them belong to Surapratappur village.