Nationalist Congress Party workers in Maharashtra released crabs outside the home of the state’s newly appointed Water Conservation Minister Tanaji Sawant on Tuesday, ANI reported. Last week, the minister had claimed that the breach in Tiware dam in Ratnagiri district had occurred because crabs had weakened its walls, and said “what is destined to happen will happen”.
At least 20 people were killed in the dam burst. The search operation for three missing people is still going on.
In the video released by ANI, the workers are seen carrying banners and releasing a box full of crabs outside the ministers home.
Meanwhile, members of Nationalist Congress Party’s Pune unit visited the Bharati Vidyapeeth police station and demanded that a case be filed against the crabs, Pune Mirror reported. After the minister’s comments last week, the leader of the NCP Youth Wing, Mehboob Sheikh, had sarcastically called for the crabs’s arrest. On July 5, Nationalist Congress Party leader Jitendra Awhad led party leaders into a police station in Thane and handed over some crabs to officials, demanding that they be detained.
Various signs of leakage had reportedly been observed earlier in the Tiware dam and were reported to district authorities, but no action was taken.
“The wall was weakened by a large number crabs and after it was pointed out to the government officials, some remedial measures were taken up,” Sawant had said.“The SIT [Special Investigation Team] appointed by Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis will come up with its findings soon and we will come to know what exactly went wrong.”
Nawab Malik, national spokesperson of the Nationalist Congress Party had called the Shiv Sena leader’s comments the “height of brazenness”. He had accused him of protecting local Shiv Sena MLA Sadanand Chavan, who is reportedly a contractor of the dam.
“Don’t blame crabs as you defend a big corrupt fish,” Malik had said. “A judicial probe must be carried out into the entire episode and the guilty MLA must be punished.”