A fisherman casts a net in Kanke reservoir, Ranchi, on Sunday morning and (below) the four pairs of slippers found near the dam. Pictures by Hardeep Singh
Bloated bodies of two sisters both aged nine were found floating in the Kanke reservoir, some 2.5km from the heart of capital Ranchi, on Sunday morning.
Police have identified the girls as Riddhi and Siddhi, whose father Sanjay Kumar (38) is a native of Patna, but stays in Pandra area of Ranchi and works in a drug store.
The children were last seen with their mother, Rita Devi (31), and two other sisters Anjali (7) and Sneha (4), on Saturday evening. Rita and her two younger daughters are still missing. Police have decided to press rescue divers into action on Monday
The bodies were first spotted by fishermen at the Chatakpur-Hesal end of the dam, which has a total catchment area of 9.44 square miles.
In-charge of Pandra police station Rakesh Kumar said that local residents informed them around 9.30am.
We found four pairs of chappals two pink and as many blue on the banks. Local people said they had seen a woman with the children last evening. We are getting a photograph of Rita Devi to confirm identity. We will get a complete picture of what happened only after we trace the woman, the officer said.
He added that they were not ruling out an accident, a suicide pact or even murder.
Earlier in the day, the unidentified bodies of the twins were sent to RIMS for post-mortem to ascertain the time and cause of death.
Then, around 4pm, the father came looking for his missing children. He identified the bodies at the morgue. He said his wife had left home with the girls yesterday, Kumar said, adding that the needle of suspicion pointed to Rita Devi who might have had a tiff with her husband.
Kanke Dam at the base of Gonda hill was constructed in 1954. It supplies water to large parts of Ranchi, including Kanke Road, Upper Bazaar, Indrapuri, Kutchery, Gonda town and BAU and Ranchi Veterinary College campuses.