P A Inamdar, founder president of the MCE society which runs the Abeda Inamdar College, on Wednesday dismissed the allegations made by the kin of the deceased that the negligence by the college and its teachers accompanying the students on the picnic led to the tragedy.
Speaking to reporters, Inamdar said “one should be proud of efforts taken by college authorities on the spot”. He said rescue efforts took place on a “never before seen earlier” scale, adding that even a helicopter was pressed into service to search for Saif Madki who was missing until Tuesday morning.
“Top authorities, including two ministers and one superintendent of police, were present at spot. Despite the challenges, we managed to get 14 ambulances on the spot and ensure best treatment to students which saved six lives,” he said.
However, when asked if teachers accompanying the students were negligent in their duty, Inamdar said an inquiry committee headed by a retired principal had been set up to look into details about their role. “We will get the report within one month. We don’t want to hurry things as exams of other students are round the corner,” he said.
Asked if the college had followed the UGC guidelines regarding safety of students while on excursion, Inamdar said the committee would look into it. “There are also other guidelines of the Supreme Court on precautions to be taken by government in coastal areas. We should see if it was followed. Were lifeguards, warning signs present there or not? But we won’t stop at merely pointing fingers. Instead, we have decided to set up warning and signboards in that beach with names of our deceased students,” he said.
Meanwhile, as angry parents alleged that the teachers had fled the spot and bodies of deceased students were lying with no one to attend to them, Inamdar said they were lying.
To allegations by parents that they had to pay for ambulances since no arrangements were made by college, Inamdar said, “Was I expected to stand at the chowk to distribute money? It’s a lie that the college didn’t do anything. The college had arranged for ambulances and no parents had to pay anything. In fact, guardian minister Girish Bapat, who was in Murud, himself coordinated about ambulances,” he said.