Maharashtra Nationalist Congress Party members led by Jitendra Awhad walked into Naupada police station with crabs on Friday. “Arrest these crabs,” he told officials as cameras clicked around them. Some of those holding crabs couldn’t hold back their smiles.

It was a unique protest against the state’s water resources minister Tanaji Sawant, who said on Thursday that a breach in the Tiware dam in Ratnagiri district had been caused by crabs which had hollowed out its wall.

A breach developed in the 19-year-old dam on Tuesday, leading to massive floods that claimed 18 lives. Various signs of leakage had reportedly been observed earlier and reported to district authorities, but no action was taken.

Saying that what was destined to happen would happen, Sawant told reporters on Tuesday: “The wall was weakened by a large number if crabs and after it was pointed out to the government officials, some remedial measures were taken up.” He also termed the breach a “natural calamity”.

Meanwhile, in Kolhapur, the NCP’s Maharashtra youth wing leader Mehboob Sheikh presented a memorandum to the Shahupuri police station, demanding the registration of a case against the criminal crabs. “If the minister thinks crabs caused the breach, then a case should be registered against the crabs under section 302 of the Indian Penal Code for murder,” Sheikh told reporters.