Assam ferry disaster: 13 bodies recovered, toll mounts to 122
Dhubri (Assam): Rescuers found bodies of 13 victims of Monday's deadly ferry disaster here pushing the toll to 122 Thursday while Bangladesh assured Indian authorities of assistance in recovery and repatriation of bodies that may have been washed downstream.
Of the bodies, 12 were found during the day and one last night, Additional Superintendent of Police Prashanta Dutta said.
The bodies were found at Mundiya and Jogomaya downstream in the Brahmaputra river from Medartary ghat where the double-decker ferry capsized.
The ferry was carrying around 380 passengers, according to tickets sold.
On the other hand, a flag meeting was held at Sonarhat on the Indo-Bangla border between the BSF and the Border Guards Bangladesh in which senior district and police officers from Dhubri and Kurigram district of Bangladesh participated.
"We have asked for help and cooperation from Bangladesh in retrieving bodies that may have been washed downstream. They have assured us of all help," Dhubri District Commissioner Kumud Chandra Kalita said.
Both sides jointly identified two villages in Kurigram, Dahikhawa and Yatrapur, where bodies could be washed ashore in view of the strong current of the Brahmaputra, Kalita said.
"BGB and Kurigram district officials said that so far not a single body has been recovered from their side. People in Kurigram district have been told by the Bangladeshi authorities to contact them in case of any sighting," he said.
President of the state's principal Opposition party AIUDF and Lok Sabha MP from Dhubri Badruddin Ajmal visited the spot.
"I have contacted Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and he has assured of all help. Around 5 to 6 of our party MLAs will camp in the area to ensure that search operations are carried out properly," Ajmal said.