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Gujarat boat tragedy: Aide of lakefront maintenance firm partner arrested


Gujarat boat tragedy: Aide of lakefront maintenance firm partner arrested

Gujarat boat tragedy

Vadodara, Jan 25 (IANS) The Special Investigation Team (SIT) of Vadodara Police has arrested one Paresh Shah in connection with the January 18 boat capsize incident on Gujarat’s Harni Motnath lake in which 12 school students and 2 teachers were killed, an official said on Thursday.

According to sources, Paresh Shah is “related to” Gopal Shah, a former town development officer with the Vadodara Municpal Corporation (VMC) and a partner in Kotia Projects — the firm responsible for operating and maintaining the lakefront. Gopal was arrested on Wednesday in Odisha.

It has been learned that Paresh Shah was managing the day-to-day operations at the Lake Zone boating facility.

Notably, he was not listed as a partner in M/s Kotia Projects.

With Paresh’s arrest, the police have now taken into custody nine persons in connection with the tragedy.

Gopal Shah, who was arrested a day ago, is an architect. He joined Kotia Projects as a consultant partner in 2016 through his firm, Planning Solution.

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His involvement was pivotal in enabling the firm to qualify for the re-development project of Motnath Lake in Harni, overcoming an initial disqualification by the VMC on the grounds of lack of experience.

Following the announcement of Shah’s arrest, videos showing him at the site of the accident immediately after the incident have circulated widely in Vadodara.

The incident, which occurred on January 18, involved students from New Sunrise School who were on a picnic at the lake.

The boat, overloaded beyond its capacity, capsized, leading to the deaths of 12 students and two teachers, while 18 other students and two teachers were rescued.

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