Visakhapatnam: The relatives of the deceased and missing persons in the Royal Vasishta boat tragedy in Godavari River demanded that the AP government immediately arrest and punish the owners and agents of the ill-fated boat and also hold officials of the Department of Ports accountable for running the boat despite being aware that the river was in spate.
It may be recalled that the East Godavari police on Monday night registered cases against Kodigudla Venkata Ramana, Y Atchyuthamani and Prabhavati, the three partners of the ill-fated Royal Vasishta boat that capsized in the Godavari near Devipatnam and six agents who booked the tickets for the tourists under Section 304 (II) of IPC (culpable homicide not amounting to murder).
Superintendent of Police, East Godavari, Adnan Nayeem Asmi said that the boat owners Venkata Ramana and others claimed that they had obtained a license from port officials to operate the boat. However, the officials of the irrigation department said that during the floods no boat was allowed despite possessing a license. We are also probing the role played by the department of ports officials, the nodal agency to grant licences to operate boats, and the irrigation department over safety precautions, he added.
One of the survivors in the boat tragedy said that the officials of various departments were bribed to operate the boat despite knowing that the river was in spate. We are requesting Chief Minister YS Jaganmohan Reddy to take action against all those officials responsible for the mishap and also punish the boat owners and agents, she added.
The police said that some more bodies were retrieved on Tuesday from the accident spot and the death toll has risen to 18 so far and it would further increase.