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Kerala Boat Tragedy: HC initiates suo moto proceedings; Seeks report from District Collector

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The Kerala High Court today initiated suo motu proceedings in connection with the tourist boat tragedy that claimed 22 lives at Tanur in Malappuram district last Sunday.

The Court arrayed the State Chief Secretary, Malappuram District Collector, District Police Chief, Alappuzha Port Officer and the Beypore Senior Port Conservator among others as the initial respondents in the case.

A Division Bench comprising Justices Devan Ramachandran and Shobha Annamma Eappen directed the Malappuram District Collector, who is also the Chairman of the District Disaster Management  Authority, to file a report on the incident by Friday.

Expressing anguish over the tragedy that claimed 22 precious lives, the Division Bench observed that with similar major and minor incidents taking place in the state with frightening regularity, citizens seem indurated to the news of loss of lives, caused soley by the deadly cocktail of callousness, indifference and official apathy.

The state has hundreds of boats in the tourism sector and noted that such tragic incidents are waiting to happen, if the present state of affairs are allowed to continue.

The Court observed, had the authorities invested with the statutory duty to watch and monitor done so, the mishap would never have happened. The Bench said the responsibility and onus of the authorities in the tragedy is no less than that of the boat operator.

The court also lauded the efforts of the people of Tanur and Parappanangadi, who risked their lives to save others. The Division Bench listed the hearing of the case on Friday.

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