Former Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Shanta Kumar on Wednesday said the tragedy at the Beas river in Mandi, in which 24 youngsters were swept away, was not an accident but a "murder" and the culprits must be punished.
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader and Rajya Sabha MP slammed state Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh for "giving clean chit" to Larji dam authorities who had released the water leading to the drowning of the engineering students on June 8.
"The Beas river tragedy in Himachal is not an accident but a murder of 24 innocent young citizens," Kumar said in Dharmshala.
Replying to reporters, Shanta said though this "killing was not intentional", yet the culprits must be punished under the law. "I am surprised by the clean chit of the CM to the water releasing authorities without waiting for the investigation results," he said.
Talking about the political scenario in Delhi, Kumar said to avoid re-election for Delhi Assembly, there is no harm if a government could be formed with the collaboration of the elected MLAs. However, he did not name Aam Admi Party.
On the issue of removal of Governors appointed during the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) regime, the BJP leader said, "the Centre is not exerting any pressure on the Governors appointed by UPA government." The former HP chief minister also rubbished reports that the BJP-led NDA was planning to topple the state government.
"It is not true that the Centre is planning to scrap the Congress government of Himachal as indicated in the press." "NDA government will not disturb any state government elected constitutionally," he said.