Thane: Nationalist Congress Party leader Jitendra Awhad on Friday created ruckus at Thane police station when he reached there carrying crabs as a mark of protest against the Maharashtra Minister T Sawant’s remark that the crabs were responsible for the Tiware dam breach.

Awhad was quoted by news agency ANI as saying, “No arrests made yet. Since crabs are responsible for this, I brought them here.”

Maharashtra minister Tanaji Sawant had earlier said that the Tiware dam breach in Thane, which claimed the lives of 18 people, was due to crabs which had weakened its wall. Sawant said, “The wall was weakened by a large number crabs and after it was pointed out to the government officials, some remedial measures were taken up.”

Calling the dam breach incident a “natural calamity”, the newly-appointed Water Conservation Minister also said whatever is destined to happen, will happen. He added, “The SIT appointed by Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis will come up with its findings soon and we will come to know what exactly went wrong.”

The Tiware dam, located in Chiplun tehsil, breached on late Tuesday night after a torrential downpour in the coastal Konkan region.

The minister had said, “In just eight hours, 192 mm rainfall was recorded in the catchment area of the dam. As per my information, the water level of the dam increased by eight metres in eight hours. The villagers wonder whether it was due to a cloudburst.”

The minister then added that the dam breach will be taken up as a matter of discussion in the committee. He said, “It was a tragedy, but I think you cannot change your fate. Whatever is going to happen, will happen. It was a kind of natural calamity,”

When asked about whether the repair works of the dam was shoddy, he said, “We realised it only when water started accumulating in the dam.”

(With Agency inputs)