The banks of Subernarekha river, where the boy drowned, on Monday. Picture by Animesh Sengupta
The body of Karim City College student Naveen Kumar Singh is yet to be found, more than 72 hours after he drowned in the Subernarekha at Kanderbera village in Chandil on Friday afternoon.
Despite the best efforts of divers pressed into service by Seraikela-Kharsawan police, the student’s body could not be traced.
Following a request from the district administration, the Chandil dam authorities on Monday stopped releasing water into the Subarnarekha to bring down its level and allow divers to search more effectively.
Chandil police circle inspector O.P. Singh said the body may have got stuck under a rock after being swept away by the current.
“Since the past three days we have been searching for the body. We made the Chandil dam authority to stop releasing water in the Subarnarekha to allow divers to search the rocky riverbed,” said the inspector.
He added that six divers had been pressed into service on Monday, who had spread out to look for the body. While two divers had been searching the spot where the youth drowned at Kanderbera, a group of four divers was scanning the riverbed from Kanderbera to Sonari — a 12km stretch — by using bamboo sticks and also inflated tubes.
As the search continued, the anxious relatives of the boy waited on the banks of the river for news.
Meanwhile, executive engineer of Chandil Dam D. Chowbey said it would not be possible to withhold releasing water for too long as as several industrial units located downstream were dependent on the water supply for production.
Naveen was one of three youths who had been bathing in the Subernarekha at Kanderbera after a picnic on Friday. As all three were on the verge of drowning, villagers bathing nearby managed to rescue one, Abhishek Pandey, while two others, Sambhab Kumar and Naveen, could not be saved. The body of Sambhab (18), a Plus II student of Rajendra Vidyalay, was found within hours.
Shyam Narayan Singh, Abhishek’s father, who was present during the search operation, said Naveen’s father Sampath Singh was at Kanderbera.