Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's sharp vigilance and quick response saved lives of several cameramen in Gujarat – the westernmost state of India – on Tuesday (30 August). Modi was in Jamnagar city of the state for the inauguration of a water project – Saurashtra Narmada Avtaran Irrigation (SAUNI) – when the incident happened.
According to reports, after releasing water from the Aji-3 dam to start the SAUNI project, the prime minister was surveying the flow when he noticed a lensman of Doordarshan, India's national broadcaster, standing at arm's length from the discharged water. Soon after sensing danger, he alerted the man along with other cameramen by gesticulating as they were far and asked them to leave the place.
"He suddenly noticed that several cameramen and photographers were standing on the downstream side. The strong flow of water released a little while ago was racing towards them and could have washed them away," Deputy Chief Minister of Gujarat Nitin Patel said after the inauguration ceremony and added that a number of photographers and cameramen including the one from Doordarshan were busy covering the event, unaware of the flowing water.
"If the PM had not alerted them, a big mishap could have happened," Patel said.
According to a Times of India report, one cameraman belonged to Doordarshan's Bhopal (a city in India's Madhya Pradesh state) broadcast centre. Videos from the event showed Modi sharing stage with the state's Chief Minister Vijay Rupani and pointing repetitively at someone off the frame. Rupani, too, can be seen indicating, asking someone to move away.