Kerala boat tragedy: Police nab owner of the sunken vessel
The owner of the boat that capsized killing 22 in southern Indian state of Kerala has been caught by the police, reported Press Trust of India. Those dead in the tragedy include 15 children. As per reports, the owner of the boat was arrested from Kozhikode beach area.
PTI reported that a senior police officer of Malappuram district confirmed that the boat owner, Nasar, has been caught.
"He has been caught from the Calicut (Kozhikode) beach area. He has not been arrested formally. He will be brought here (Malappuram)," the officer said as quoted by PTI.
According to Tanur police, in whose jurisdiction the tragic incident occurred, the owner of the boat had been absconding. A case was registered against on Sunday. The owner of the boat reportedly did not have a license to operate it.
The double-decker boat was ferrying the passengers when it turned turtle and sank. Twenty two dead from the tragedy include 15 children.
The incident took place around 7 pm local time (+530 GMT) near an estuary in Thoovaltheeram beach in the Tanur area. Survivours were admitted to Taluk Hospital, Thirurangadi in Malappuram district. Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan visited the hospital. It has been reported that around 35-40 passengers were in the boat when it sank.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed his condolences and announced an ex-gratia of Rs 200,000 (US $2,400 approx.) to the family members of each victim.
"Pained by the loss of lives due to the boat mishap in Malappuram, Kerala. Condolences to the bereaved families. An ex-gratia of ₹2 lakh from PMNRF (Prime Minister's National Relief Fund) would be provided to the next of kin of each deceased," tweeted Prime Minister's Office.
The state of Kerala declared official mourning on Monday for the victims. Official functions were cancelled.