Hindustan Times (Lucknow)
3 DROWN, 8 MISSING IN BOAT MISHAP; SONIA VISITS VILLAGE
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.