Khatlapura tragedy: 11 youth drown as boat capsizes during immersion of Ganesh Idol

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Bhopal: Eleven young devotees met a watery grave when a boat carrying 24 devotees and a huge idol of Lord Ganesh for immersion capsized at Khatlapura ghat on the Lower Lake in the State capital in the early hours of Friday.

The incident occurred when one of the two boats that had been joined together overturned while lowering the huge idol. When the devotees tried to save themselves by clinging to the other boat, it also capsized. Another boat that had reached there soon also overturned. There were 24 persons, including 5 rowers, on board.

The ghastly tragedy raises the burning question of gross disregard for human life when it comes ensuring boats are not overloaded and also no one is allowed to get onboard such vessels without a life jacket. Also dearth of lifeguards and rescue vessels keeping in view the huge rush of devotees involved in the immersion of idols raises many questions.

Madhya Pradesh Public Relations Minister PC Sharma reached Khatlapura, the accident site and termed the incident very unfortunate.

Sharma announced that a detailed investigation will be conducted to determine the causes leading to the accident. In spite of all the arrangements, there may have been some shortcoming, he said adding action will be taken against those who are found guilty, so that such incidents do not occur in future.

The Minister said that ex-gratia amount of Rs. 11 lakhs each will be provided by the government to the families of the deceased.

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