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Featured Image: Divers being employed to search for Ashim Ghatak (inset) in Damodar river at Asansol. 

By A Newsman

Asansol, 19 September: THE elder brother of state law minister Moloy Ghatak is feared drowned after he was whisked away by tide in Damodar river at Hirapur Ghat at Asansol.

The accident took place around 2.45 this afternoon when Ashim Ghatak (72) was performing Tarpan in the memory of his foregathers on the occasion of Mahalaya. He was accompanied by a cousin brother Biren Mukherjee, who too was offering Tarpan.

“There was current in the water and I cautioned dada not to go very far from the banks. But ignoring this he went a little deep into the river and was performing Tarpan that a tide suddenly whisked him away. I tried in vain to retrieve him,” Mukherjee said.

Mukherjee at once alerted all concerned and also called up minister Ghatak, who rushed in to Hirapur Ghat along with Asansol Mayor Jitendra Tiwari. A team of district disaster management group and local boatmen launched a rescue operation within about 30 minutes, but could not locate Ashim Ghatak until evening.

The rescue team is continuing the search up to two km downstream of Hirapur Ghat. The minister and the Mayor are camping at the site. Ashim Ghatak has been an advocate at Asansol sub-divisional court and used to live with his family separately from his minister brother.