3 DROWN, 8 MISS­ING IN BOAT MISHAP; SONIA VIS­ITS VIL­LAGE

Hindustan Times (Lucknow) - - FRONT PAGE -

Three chil­dren died while eight oth­ers were feared drowned after their boat cap­sized in the Ganga at Raalpur ghat in Rae Bareli early on Fri­day. Hours after the in­ci­dent, Congress pres­i­dent Sonia Gandhi, who is also the Rae Bareli MP, vis­ited the vil­lage to con­sole the vil­lagers whose loved ones were ei­ther re­ported dead or miss­ing.

RAE BARELI: Three chil­dren died while eight oth­ers were also feared drowned after their boat cap­sized in the Ganga at Raalpur ghat in Rae Bareli dis­trict early on Fri­day.

The boat was fer­ry­ing 18 per­sons be­long­ing to Kan­jas vil­lage to a tem­ple on the other side of the river on the oc­ca­sion of Kar­tik Purn­ima when the in­ci­dent took place.

Around 3am, some pas­sen­gers com­pelled the boat­men, Nee­lesh and Ramesh, to part with the oars and tried to row the boat them­selves. One of the oars broke and the boat cap­sized.

Hours after the in­ci­dent, Congress pres­i­dent Sonia Gandhi, who is also the Rae Bareli MP, vis­ited Kan­jas vil­lage to con­sole the vil­lagers whose loved ones were ei­ther re­ported dead or miss­ing.

After Gandhi re­turned to Delhi, lo­cal politi­cians led by Zila Pan­chayat Parishad chair­per­son Suman Singh and MLC dis­trib­uted Rs 25,000 to the 11 af­fected fam­i­lies on be­half of the Congress.

Ut­tar Pradesh sci­ence and tech­nol­ogy min­is­ter Manoj Kumar Pande too vis­ited the vil­lage and as­sured as­sis­tance of Rs 2 lakh to the fam­ily mem­bers of those killed.

The bod­ies of Shilpi, Rau­naq and Su­raj were re­cov­ered while a search was on for eight other miss­ing chil­dren, su­per­in­ten­dent of po­lice N Kolanchi said.

Seven of the oc­cu­pants swam to safety, he said.

Those miss­ing were Shweta, Ko­mal, Shivani, Sh­a­gun, Chotey, Su­nil, Deepak and Ashu, the SP added

The fam­ily mem­bers of the vic­tims al­leged that the dis­trict ad­min­is­tra­tion had shown lax­ity in look­ing for the miss­ing chil­dren.

“The dis­trict ad­min­is­tra­tion has failed to make ar­range­ment to trace the bod­ies of the chil­dren,” said Tarak­nath whose child was miss­ing after the tragedy.

Sonia Gandhi called dis­trict mag­is­trate Ma­hen­dra Kumar and spoke to him about the ar­range­ments to find the miss­ing bod­ies.

HTPHOTO

Congress pres­i­dent Sonia Gandhi at Kan­jas vil­lage in Rae Bareli.

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