Yesudas to help Thekkady boat driver

Veteran playback singer K.J. Yesudas Thursday said he would provide all legal help to the driver of the ill-fated boat, which capsized Sep 30 at Thekkady lake in central Kerala’s Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary killing 45 people.

Speaking to a TV channel here, the singer said it is sad that the driver alone is being accused for the tragedy.

“The driver was doing his job. Are there no other officials who also need to be made accountable for the tragedy? It is not fair to target just the hapless boat driver. So, we have decided to help him fight the case,” Yesudas said.

The driver, Victor Samuel, and his assistant are in judicial custody after the Crime Branch arrested them last week.

“The driver did not own the boat, it belongs to the Kerala Tourism Development Corporation (KTDC). He alone should not be made the scapegoat,” Yesudas said.

A shipping expert Wednesday confirmed the boat had some inherent faults and had a tilt about 2.9 degrees to its right side.

The state cabinet has requested the Kerala High Court to provide a sitting judge to probe the tragedy.

State Bharatiya Janata Party president P.K. Krishna Das Thursday demanded that Kerala Tourism Minister Kodiyeri Balakrishnan and KTDC chairman Cherian Phillip should step down on moral grounds.

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