Ahmedabad, Apr 4 (PTI) The Gujarat High Court today asked police to probe into the drowning of six youths in Sabarmati river in Sabarkantha district last year allegedly due to deep pits dug into the riverbed for illegal sand mining.
A division bench of Chief Justice R Subhash Reddy and Justice V M Pancholi ordered the probe on a petition which claimed the youths died of drowning due to the pits dug into the riverbed for illegal sand mining.
The petition claimed the sand miners dug up 5 to 6-metre- deep pits into the Sabarmati riverbed at Galteshwar in Prantij tehsil which resulted in the tragedy on September 18 last year.
The court also allowed the petitioners to file a public interest lawsuit against the illegal sand mining that allegedly caused the tragedy.
The parents of the deceased had moved the court seeking its direction the police to lodge an FIR against the sand miners for mining sand beyond the government-prescribed limits and affecting the river’s ecology in breach of the Supreme Court orders.
They claimed the youths were trapped in a six-metre-deep pit dug into the riverbed as they could not assess the depth due to water flowing over it.
They said the government rules do not allow mining into the riverbed and dredging should not go beyond three metres.
The youths had gone to take bath in the river.
All six belonged to Raslod village in Prantij tehsil and had planned a picnic at Galteshwar near an ancient Lord Shiva temple located on the bank of the river on the occasion of ‘Raksha Bandhan.’
The deceased were identified as Kamlesh Patel (22), Ankit Patel (21), Yash Patel (20), Chetan Bhatt (20), Vikas Patel (21) and Jayesh Patel (21).
This is published unedited from the PTI feed.