Police file charge sheet in Thekkadi boat tragedy
Idukki: Kerala police on Tuesday submitted a charge sheet in Thekkadi boat tragedy, in which 45 people were killed, arraying seven persons as accused including the driver of the cruiser operated by the state tourism agency KTDC.
The victims of the tragedy that happened on September 30, 2009 included 23 women and seven children who set out for cruising in the double-decker boat Jalakanyaka in one of Kerala`s prime tourism destination.
The charge sheet, running into 5,515 pages, was submitted in the First Class Magistrate Court in Perumade. It was drawn up on the basis of the probe conducted by a team led by a Crime Branch SP.
Over crowding of holidayers, defects in designing of the boat, careless driving and lapses in certification protocol of the craft were cited as major reasons for the mishap.
The accused-- including the driver, lascar, a forest watcher and the owner of the company that built the boat-- had been charged under various sections of the IPC including 308 (culpable homicide not amounting to murder).
The ill-fated boat had as many as 95 people aboard against its permissible capacity of 75.
A judicial inquiry ordered by Kerala Government into the tragedy had earlier found that safety measures such as provision of life-jackets to all travellers were not followed by the operators.
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