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Trio drown at Mandarmani

A weekend break turned tragic as two brothers drowned in the sea off Mandarmani on Sunday while one of their friends was missing till late in the evening.

Arun Sharma, 24, and Ankit, 18, and their friend Manish Sharma, 23, had waded 300m off the water’s edge on the beach that gets submerged during high tide.

The trio from Mangaldeep Apartment off GT Road at Shibpur in Howrah were swept away around noon by a rough wave during high tide, police said.

Arun was a chartered accountant while Ankit passed the Higher Secondary examinations this year. The police said Manish was working with a transport firm in Calcutta.

The trio had gone to Mandarmani on a two-day holiday with two other friends in a chartered car from an agency in Liluah.

“Arun called me around noon and said they would return tomorrow afternoon,” said Ratan Sharma, the father of the two brothers.

Their friends, Quassan Sharma, 25, who works with Manish in the transport company, and Mukesh Singh, 22, a BA second-year student, saw the trio struggling in the waves and alerted shopkeepers and fishermen on the beach but it was too late.

The fishermen pulled out the bodies of Arun and Ankit in the afternoon. Manish was nowhere to be found.

“They were bathing on a secluded section of the beach and had gone far into the sea,” said Indrajit Bose, the sub-divisional police officer of Contai.

The police said the group had reached Mandarmani around 10.30pm but didn’t check into a hotel. Mukesh allegedly told the police that they drank alcohol before getting into the sea at 11.15am.

After bathing for an hour, Mukesh and Quassan came out of the water for a quick bite. The duo said they were having some snacks when they heard cries for help and saw their friends struggling. Just then, a big wave engulfed them.

Arun and Ankit were rushed to Contai Sub-Divisional Hospital where doctors pronounced them dead.

In July last year, three members of a Calcutta family, including an engineering student and a Class IX girl, drowned in the sea off Mandarmani.