Millennium Post

JU student still missing; state mulls introducing fresh boating norms

The second year computer science student of Jadavpur University, who drowned in river Hooghly when he fell into the river while taking a boat ride with five other friends, is still missing.

It may be recalled that the 19-year-old Raunak Saha, from Salt Lake, had gone to Princep Ghat with five of his friends. Among the five youth, two were Raunak’s classmates and two girls were from a private engineering college.

After the incident the state government is mulling over introducing several norms on the boat riding. Kolkata Port Trust was asked to verify whether those boatmen have legal permission to sail those boats. However, the Kolkata Police were asked to monitor the passenger amenities.

“The disaster management force of the Kolkata police will monitor the situation there. They have been asked to arrest the concerned person if any irregularity should be reported,” said a senior state government officer.

However, in a meeting with Kolkata Post Trust and Kolkata Police, the state government also decided to introduce two assistants on the boat which would ferry the passengers. Those two assistants would help the boatman and adequate life jackets will be there for ensuring safety.

“We’ll not allow any night party on those boats,” an officer added.

Meanwhile, the Kolkata police’s divers are laying no stone unturned to trace Raunak’s body. The family of deceased lodged a complaint with South Post police station against four friends and boatman Shekh Saifuddin. Police later arrested the boatman.

His friends told the police that the boatman took the boat almost to the middle of the river and anchored it with a steamer.

The boatman, Sheikh Saifuddin allegedly, went to the steamer leaving all five of them to gossip among themselves. After around an hour, Raunak called the boatman repeatedly but he received no reply and tried to jump to the steamer from the boat. 

In an attempt to do so he fell into the river. Neither Raunak nor his four friends knew swimming. As a result his friends kept shouting for the boatman who allegedly did not respond to their calls. It was too late when the boatman came. They immediately contacted the police over the phone and sought their help. 

A team comprising officers from the city police’s disaster management group initiated the search operation. But they failed to find him.
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