Dipak Burman, State General Secretary and MLA, said, “It is a man-made massacre. Had the course of the river not changed with boulders by the administration and had there been proper precautions by the state government, this accident could have been averted.”
The BJP team visited the Mal river and then went to the house of the victims, whose family members died during the flash flood on Vijaya Dasami during Durga idol immersion. The BJP team also went to the hospital where injured persons were admitted and spoke to them.
Santu Saha, deceased Urmi Saha’s uncle, said, “Had the administration not changed the course of the river, this mishap could be avoided.” Urmi was a Class-VII student who died during the flash flood along with her aunt.
Manoj Tigga, MLA and BJP chief whip in the state assembly, pointed fingers at the lack of preparedness and claimed that there were no life jackets, boats or other equipment to help the victims, which led to death of so many people on the day of immersion.
The BJP team also visited the police station and gave a deputation, An FIR has been filed by a family member of the victim, against state administration for negligence.
Reacting sharply to the BJP’s visit, Kunal Ghosh said, “If there is any administrative shortcoming, it will be looked into by the Nabanna state secretariat. BJP is playing politics on the issue.”
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had announced ex-gratia of around Rs 2 lakh each to the kin of the deceased on Thursday even as at least eight people died, 13 were treated in the government hospital due to flash floods in Mal river during Durga idol immersion on Wednesday night in Jalpaiguri district’s Malbazar. Several thousand people had assembled near the river on the occasion of immersion and a fair.