At least 11 people drowned to death after two boats capsized during the immersion of a Ganesha idol in Bhopal’s Khatlaputra Ghat on Friday morning, PTI reported. Search and rescue operations are under way as at least three persons are still reportedly missing. At least 40 police personnel and a team from the State Disaster Response Force are part of the search operation.

Six persons were rescued, Bhopal Collector Tarun Kumar Pithode said. A magisterial investigation has been ordered into the incident.

At least 17 people had been travelling on two separate boats. The people on one boat saw the other one capsize and tried to save it, but in vain. Meanwhile, the first boat also capsized. Teams of the State Disaster Response Force, the National Disaster Response Force, the Bhopal Municipal Corporation and local residents managed to save six people.

Chief Minister Kamal Nath announced a compensation of Rs 11 lakh for the families of the victims. “Whoever is found negligent will not be spared,” he said in a tweet.

Eighteen dead in Maharashtra

Meanwhile, at least 18 persons drowned during immersions of Ganesh idols in separate incidents in Maharashtra on Thursday, PTI reported. Drowning incidents were reported in 11 districts – Amravati, Nashik, Thane, Sindhudurg, Ratnagiri, Dhule, Bhandara, Nanded, Ahmednagar, Akola and Satara, an official said.

A 15-year-old boy named Kalpesh Jadhav died in Thane while immersing a Ganesh idol, the police said. In Amravati, four persons taking part in the immersion in Purna river died. In Nashik, two persons died, while three were rescued.

A man identified as Soma Shivanakar drowned in a pond at Dolsar village in Bhandara district. Chaitanya Shinde, 20, died when he was washed away in Koyna river at Karad in Satara district.

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