Three top executives of Papaa Shipping Company Pvt Ltd, Vile Parle, were arrested in connection with the accommodation barge Papaa305 (P305) tragedy. It sank in the Arabian Sea during Cyclone Tauktae on May 17, resulting in the death of many people.

Yellow Gate police in south Mumbai said that the accused – Prasad Ganpat Rane, Nitin Dinanath Singh and Akhilesh Tiwari – acted irresponsibly, and the lives of 75 people were lost due to their negligent acts. They have been charged with culpable homicide not amounting to murder, endangering life or personal safety of others and common intention, reported Hindustan Times.

While Rane is the manager of Papaa Shipping, Singh and Tiwari are director and technical superintendent, respectively. Another director of Papaa Shipping, Shilpa Kanojiya, is also an accused, but is yet to be arrested, said senior inspector Suhas Hemade of Yellow Gate police station.

In May, a case was registered against Barge P-305’s Captain Rakesh Ballav and others, for culpable homicide not amounting to murder. Ballav died in the incident. Barge P-305 engineer Mustafizur Shaikh, who survived the tragedy, said in his complaint that he had repeatedly requested Ballav to give a distress call, but the captain delayed it by more than 10 hours.

Hemade shared that the arrested men were well-aware of the serious warning issued by the authority concerned in connection with Cyclone Tauktae. "Despite this, they neither called back their employees from the barge nor did they ask them to shift to a safer place. They were also aware of the decision taken (on the basis of miscalculated judgement) by the barge’s master (which later proved fatal for everyone on the barge).

"They could have still called back their employees to safety. But they failed to do so and all of their crew members lost their lives in the incident. Hence, they have been arrested in the case,” he added. The matter is still being investigated. “We have recorded the statement of 63 crew members, and booked the accused for negligence," a police officer told Mid-day.

Mumbai Police spokesperson DCP Chaitnya S said, “The court has given police remand of the accused till July 8.”

Barge P-305 was carrying 261 individuals when the incident happened. About 186 of them were rescued by the Indian Navy and Coast Guard. Seventy five were declared dead, out of which eight are still missing. The bodies of four of them are yet to be identified.

Four Disney employees were reportedly arrested during a recent massive operation focused on human trafficking, prostitution, and child predators in Florida. This is a representational image. Pixabay