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A decade after Thekkady boat tragedy, no action yet


Thiruvananthapuram: A decade after the ill-fated boat owned by the Kerala Tourism Development Corporation (KTDC) sank in Thekkady lake in the Periyar wildlife sanctuary killing 45 people, justice eludes the victims' families as no action has been taken against any culprit despite a judicial commission's report.

The overloaded boat with 76 tourists sank around 4.30 p.m. on this day in 2009. The dead included seven children, 23 women and 15 men.

Most of the dead hailed from Tamil Nadu.

Even though the Kerala government had given compensation to the victims' families, no action has been taken against the culprits. Two different investigations were held -- one by the Crime branch and the second being a judicial probe. Both had submitted their reports indicting those responsible, but till date no action has been taken.

A report by the Justice (retired) E. Moideen Kunju judicial commission, submitted a few years ago, had blamed the state owned KTDC for the accident.

The commission had found that those responsible for buying the boat had failed to ensure the safety requirements and the person handling the boat was not an expert.

The crime branch had then arrested the surveyor K.K.Sanjeev, N.A.Giri, the official of the firm based in Chennai that manufactured the boat, Victor Samuel, who was handling the boat, his assistant, a forest guard and Chief Boat Inspector M. Mathews. All of them are currently out of jail on bail.

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