On September 8, a private boat carrying 92 passengers capsized after colliding with a government-owned ferry near Nimati Ghat in Jorhat district, killing two and leaving one missing.
At least six personnel of Assam’s Inland Water Transport (IWT) Department have been arrested in connection with alleged mistakes that resulted in the boat capsizing in the Brahmaputra.
The IWT employees have been charged with culpable homicide not amounting to murder, according to authorities.
According to Jorhat Superintendent of Police Ankur Jain, three people working on the private boat were detained for questioning, while numerous authorities were asked to record their statements.
“We detained six IWT employees at Neamati Ghat after discovering that they had made faults by failing to follow protocols. It is possible that the accident could have been avoided, “Jain explained.
The police have filed a case under the Indian Penal Code’s Section 304 (culpable homicide not amounting to murder) and Section 34 (criminal conduct committed by multiple persons for the common good of all), and all of the accused have been charged under these provisions, he added.
“Three people working aboard a private boat in the Majuli district’s Kamalabari were also detained for interrogation. We’re working with Majuli Police, and a Jorhat team will arrive there soon, “Jain explained.
When asked if any IWT officers had been detained, Jain responded no, but that numerous officials stationed at Neamati Ghat had been summoned for questioning in order to record their statements.
“Right now, we’re attempting to piece together the scenario and figure out how the tragedy happened,” the SP stated, without providing any other specifics.
CM’s visit to the site of the incident
The accident occurred when the private boat ‘Ma Kamala’, which was carrying passengers and cars from Neamati Ghat, collided with the official ferry ‘MB Tipkai,’ which was arriving from the world’s largest river island.
Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, who visited the disaster site the next day, said that the early investigation revealed “mismanagement” as the primary cause of the catastrophe.
Meanwhile, the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), State Disaster Response Force (SDRF), police, and district administrations are searching for the missing person in the accident site and up to 100 kilometres downstream.
Bikramjit Barua, a doctor from Jorhat stationed in Majuli, was recognised as the perpetrator. Parimita Das, a college teacher from Guwahati, and Indreswar Bora, a school teacher from Lakhimpur, were among the victims.
Bodies afloat near Umatumuni island
On Saturday, the body of one of the two people who went missing after a ferry disaster was found downstream in the Kaziranga National Park and Tiger Reserve. The body of Indreswar Bora was discovered on the Umatumuni island in the Brahmaputra river by the tiger reserve’s staff. The Biswanath Range of the tiger reserve includes the island.
Hunt for Bikramjit Baruah
The ill-fated Maa Kamala, a passenger ferry that sank after colliding with a larger ferry off Neamati Ghat in the Jorhat district, had 90 passengers on board, according to the Assam State Disaster Management Authority. On the day of the tragedy, 87 people swam to safety or were rescued, but a teacher called Parimita Das died on her way to the hospital.
A Forest Department officer added, “The body of the deceased was identified from documents recovered in a bag.”
The single-engine ferry that sank was on its way to Neamati Ghat from the Kamalabari ferry port in Majuli, an ‘island’ district and Assembly constituency that is represented by Ports and Shipping Minister Sarbananda Sonowal. Like the majority of other ferries.