The Kerala High Court on Tuesday termed as “shocking” and “haunting” the boat accident at Tanur area of Malappuram district two days ago that claimed 22 lives, including 15 children, and initiated a PIL on its own to find out why the authorities allowed the vessel to operate by allegedly flouting rules.
A bench of Justices Devan Ramachandran and Shoba Annamma Eapen said their “hearts were bleeding” and they “underwent sleepless nights” after seeing the lifeless bodies of the children.
The court said the accident happened as a result of “the deadly cocktail of callousness, greed and official apathy.”
The court said it was initiating the petition on its own to ensure that such an incident does not happen ever again.
The bench noted that such boating tragedies were happening in the state with “frightening regularity” since 1924 when Kerala lost Mahakavi Kumaranasan, one of the triumvirate poets of Kerala, when a boat from Kollam to Kottayam sank at Palana.
The boat capsized near an estuary close to the Thoovaltheeram beach in Tanur area around 7.30 pm on Sunday.
According to district officials, 15 of the deceased were minors aged eight months to 17 years and there were 37 persons onboard the ill-fated boat.