The family of one of the two teenaged rowers who drowned at Rabindra Sarobar on May 21 has lodged a police complaint alleging negligence on the part of the rowing club and the school for whose team the students were practising ahead of a regatta final.
Souvik Chatterjee, father of Souryadeep, a Class X of South Point High School, whose boat overturned during a 90kmph Nor’wester last month, said his son was nominated by the school for the inter-school regatta at Rabindra Sarobar and that it was the school’s responsibility to ensure his training and safety. Chatterjee also blamed Lake Club for his son’s death.
“The school was supposed to train him and supervise him during the practise and competition. He lost his life during a practice session. My question is was there a trained coach appointed by the school, capable of coaching the students in rowing? Was he present when the training was in progress? Why had he not ensured the mandatory safety precautions,” Chatterjee asked.
Based on the complaint, a case under Section 304A of the Indian Penal Code that deals with the offence of causing death due to negligence has been started at Rabindra Sarobar police station. The charge, if proved, could lead to a maximum punishment of two years of imprisonment.
A senior official of South Point High School said the school would be in a position to respond only after going through the formal complaint lodged by the family.
Debabrata Datta, joint secretary of Lake Club, said: “None of us can feel the grief of the parents who lost their children. They have filed an FIR but we have no comments to make.”
Chatterjee has further alleged that all the officials who were involved in the incident should be held responsible for his son’s death.
“I have lodged a complaint against the school and Lake Club. It is for the police to investigate and fix responsibility for my son’s death,” Chatterjee added.
Souryadeep and Pushan Sadhukan, who was in Class IX, had failed to swim to shore and drowned in the Lake. Two of their teammates who were on the same boat — Devanshh Chakraborty and Sanskar Chandra — had managed to float or swim to safety after the boat capsized.
The boys had won the semi-finals the same morning and were practicing for the final scheduled the next day.
There is no formal complaint from Pushan’s family yet, the police said.
Pushan’s father is an inspector in the traffic department of Kolkata police.