In a bizarre statement, Tanaji Sawant, Maharashtra’s Water Conservation minister, blamed crabs for the collapse of the Tiware Dam, which killed 19 people in the Ratnagiri district, claims a report from The Indian Express

Calling it a huge calamity, Tanaji Sawant believed there were no breaches in the dam and said: 

The dam was built in 2004 and there were no breaches ever.. However, there is a huge problem of crabs in that dam and because of that the recent leakages took place. 

Sawant also believed, massive downpour in the area caused the dam to collapse because a rainfall of 192 mm raised the dam water level by 8 meters, in just 8 hours. 

Hindustan Times

Of course, this didn’t go down well with the opposition and NCP leader Jitendra Awhad straight away visited the Naupada police station with the crabs. 

He handed over the crabs to the police, asking them to arrest the crustacean species, reports The Indian Express . 

The Hindu

Speaking to the media, Awhad said: 

23 people were washed away, some are still missing, but the minister claims that crabs had weakened the dam. 

Echoing the same sentiment, NCP state youth wing leader, Mehboob Sheikh said: 

If the minister thinks crabs caused the breach, then a case should be registered against the crabs under section 302 of the Indian Penal Code for murder. 

The dam water breached its walls around 9:30 PM on Tuesday, July 2, flooding multiple villages downstream and washing away many houses, alongside.