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Sunday, June 13, 2021

Barge captain still missing, booked for negligence

The Yellow Gate police said it booked Bhallav for allegedly ignoring warnings related to Cyclone Tauktae.

Written by Sagar Rajput | Mumbai |
May 22, 2021 12:59:25 am
Indian Navy carries out the rescue and search operations for the missing crew members of the barge P305, off the Mumbai coast. (PTI)

Four days after barge P305 sank in the Arabian Sea in the wake of Cyclone Tauktae, the Mumbai Police on Friday registered a case of negligence against its captain Rakesh Bhallav, who is still missing. Early on Friday, the police said that following a complaint filed by P305 engineer Mustafizur Rehman Shaikh, an offence was registered under sections 304(II) (an act done with knowledge that it is likely to cause death), 338 (causing grievous hurt by an act endangering life or personal safety of others) and 34 (common intention) of the IPC.

The Yellow Gate police said it booked Bhallav for allegedly ignoring warnings related to Cyclone Tauktae.

Mumbai Police Spokesperson, DCP S Chaitanya, said, “The captain acted negligently in regard to the warnings issued related to Cyclone Tautkae… this allegedly led to the mishap, which killed several people. We have so far named the barge’s captain and others in the FIR, and on the basis of the findings of the investigation, we will book more officials.”

Senior Inspector Suhas Hemade of Yellow Gate police station said, “We are trying to locate the captain. Several bodies recovered from the sea are yet to be identified. So, we suspect that he may either be among the unidentified persons or is yet to be found in the sea.” He added that statements of over 100 survivors have been recorded so far.

A Navy spokesperson said on Friday said that while 60 bodies have been recovered, 15 personnel from the barge are still missing. The police said that the Navy has handed them 50 mortal remains of those on board the barge. While 26 deceased were identified by their family members by Friday evening, 16 have been handed over to the relatives.

“Search and rescue operation is still on for the remaining crew. We have intensified search for the wrecks of barge P305 and tug Varaprada using specialised teams and equipment, as we fear that some may have been trapped in the vessels,” said a Navy spokesperson.

Eleven crew members of tug boat Varaprada are missing.

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