Search on for capsize victims

One person, Jaherul Haque, 20, has been reported missing in Monday night's boat capsize in the Beki in Barpeta district of lower Assam.

By Sunil Das in Barpeta
  • Published 13.09.18
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Lifebuoys hang in a ferry. Picture by UB Photos

Barpeta: One person, Jaherul Haque, 20, has been reported missing in Monday night's boat capsize in the Beki in Barpeta district of lower Assam.

Jaherul's family claimed that he was one of the more than 100 passengers in the mechanised country boat ( bhutbhuti) that capsized at Kararkur while coming from Baghbar to Kalgachiya. They said he had gone to watch a boat race with others but did not return home.

The family of Jaherul, who hails from Goliya village under Kalgachiya police station in Barpeta district of lower Assam, has lodged a missing report with Kalgachiya police station.

Kalgachiya police station officer-in-charge Sanjeeb Das said, "We received a missing complaint and registered a missing case. A search is on."

A body, recovered from the Bhelengi at Mandia in Barpeta district on Tuesday, has been identified as that of Kamal Rajak, 40, of Rajaduwar in north Guwahati. Kamal had gone missing after the boat capsize in the Brahmaputra on September 5.

Since then, four bhutbhuti mishaps have been reported in Assam , two of which occurred consecutively on Monday and Tuesday in Goalpara district. In both incidents, bodies of all the victims could not be fished out till 5pm on Wednesday.

A 20-member team of the State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) and the Pancharatna river police station searched a 5km stretch in the Brahmaputra on Wednesday for two victims of Tuesday's mishap but could not recover the bodies of Billal Hussain, 37, and Amina Khatoon, 7.

Hussain and Iman Ali were going to the newly emerged Motiharipara Sar in the heart of the Brahmaputra in the evening when they were caught in a sudden cyclonic storm and their wooden country boat capsized. Ali survived but Hussain went missing. Amina, who was visiting her grandparents in Goalpara, had boarded the boat to return to the sar where she lived.

The team engaged at Rakhaldubi, the site of Monday's mishap in Goalpara, also failed to find the body of an 18-month girl reported missing.

An elderly man, who was at the rescue operation site, said, "We have lived and grown with the mighty Brahmaputra but accidents rarely happen with us. It was bad luck this time."

Additional reporting by Sofikul Ahmed in Goalpara