New Delhi, Jan 27 IBNS | 10 months ago

President Pranab Mukjerjee on Monday mourned the death of several people in the boat mishap in the Bay of Bengal near Port Blair town in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands on Sunday.

"The President of India, Shri Pranab Mukherjee has expressed shock and grief over the loss of lives in the boat tragedy in the Andamans yesterday (January 26, 2014). He has conveyed his profound condolences to the grieving families of the deceased," President's Secretariat said in a statement.

The President also called upon the authorities concerned to engage in speedy relief and rescue efforts and render all assistance to the kin of the victims.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh also announced an ex-gratia of two lakh rupees to the families of those killed in the boat mishap.

"The Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh has condoled the loss of lives in the Andamans boat tragedy and has sanctioned an ex-gratia of two lakh rupees to the next of kin of each of the deceased from the Prime Minister's National Relief Fund," Prime Minister's Office (PMO) said in a statement.

Minister of State in the Prime Minister's Office, V Narayanasamy, on Monday said the tourism department is responsible for the Andaman boat tragedy that claimed at least 21 lives.

"It is a very sad, unfortunate affair. In fact, I came to know from the reports that there were no life jackets in the boat and there were no divers and (life) guards to rescue the people. This would be thoroughly enquired," said Narayanasamy.

"People who are in the tourism department are responsible. We will tell the governor to take action against them," he said.

At least 21 people were killed as a boat carrying tourists capsized in the Bay of Bengal near Port Blair town in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands on Sunday, reports said.

According to reports, the mishap occurred at around 4 pm between Ross Island and North Bay.

The boat named Aqua Marine was carrying 43 tourists.

(Posted on 28-01-2014)

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