Parents anguished as 14 students drown in Murud
The parents and relatives of the 14 students from Abeda Inamdar College of Arts and Science who drowned at sea in Murud, visited the institution "waiting for any scrap of information from the college authorities about their children". Tempers ran high as parents questioned how the tragedy could have taken place under the teacher's watch. 50 police personnel were deployed to maintain peace.
13 students from Pune's Abeda Inamdar College of Arts and Science died after being "swept away by the high tide at a beach in Maharashtra's Raigad district". The 13 drowned were a part of a group of 119 students who were on a college picnic to the Murud Janjira beach, which is nearly a four-hour drive from Pune.
Vice-Principal of the college, Shailaja Bootwala said, "The incident is unfortunate and has shocked us all. It was just a daylong picnic. We have sent 30 staffers and 10 ambulances to assist those executing the search and rescue operation."
Officials confirmed that bodies of 13 students- 9 girls, 4 boys had been recovered by the rescuers who had deployed helicopters and interceptor boats. The Inspector General of Police (Konkan) Prashant Burude said that the students had "ignored warnings and entered the deep sea during high tide in the afternoon." Immediate help from locals saved lives of 5 who had also been swept away.
While the rescuers recovered 13 bodies, Saif Madki is still missing and his body is yet to be recovered.
The locals pointed out that the "beach has no warning signs and there are no lifeguards posted in the area." They said that it was the administration's responsibility "to initiate steps to ensure the safety of tourists." The blame was also put on the students who had acted rashly behaving like enthusiastic tourists neglecting "any suggestion by the locals".
The parents sought the resignations of the "Founder, chairperson and college principal" with immediate effect. The parents alleged that the college had sent only 8 teachers for 116 students, calling it 'irresponsible behaviour'. The administration on its part said that the students had been sent a precautionary circular before the picnic which the students hadn't adhered to (a claim rubbished by the parents).