The body of the 14-year-old schoolboy, who drowned in Kharkai river near Baroda ghat in Bagbera on Saturday, was fished out on Sunday.
Residents who went to the riverbank for a bath saw the body of Kundan Prasad floating in the water around 8am. Kadma police were informed who in turn informed their Bagbera counterpart.
Two divers were pressed into service to retrieve the body. It was sent to MGM Medical College in Dimna for post-mortem. After the autopsy, the boy was cremated at Shiv ghat in Jugsalai in the afternoon.
What questions a simple case of accident is the fact that Kundan’s body bore several marks of injury, including on the head, shoulders, left elbow and both legs.
However, officer-in-charge of Bagbera police station Shailendra Kumar, who visited the spot, denied foul play. He said preliminary probe suggested that schoolboy had drowned in the river.
“At the time when Kundan was swept away, there were many people at Baroda ghat, including four other schoolboys. No one saw the victim being assaulted,” he told The Telegraph.
The police officer pointed out that there were strong currents in Kharkai river and it was possible that the boy had hit rocks on the riverbed, which explains the marks of injury on his body. He stressed that the autopsy report would reveal the truth.
Kundan, the eldest son of snack vendor Valmiki Prasad, studied in Class IX of Indira Vidya Jyoti High School, a private cradle affiliated to Jharkhand Academic Council, near Bagbera Railway Colony.
A resident of Gandhinagar, Kundan and the other teens — Sidharth Mishra (14), Dipak Kumar (14), Rohit Prasad (15) and Rajesh Singh (14) — used to frequently skip morning classes and visit the Kharkai for a dip.
On Saturday too, they went for their usual river escapade and Kundan drowned around 10.30am.
After the incident, the local administration pressed underwater rescue divers to find the boy. Despite their best efforts, the body could not be found till late.
The incident prompted Bagbera Mahanagar Vikas Samiti — a social outfit that looks after the local issues — to demand that the administration take necessary measures to stop recurrence of such drowning incidents.
Outfit president Subodh Jha said a delegation of the samiti would meet Dhalbhum SDO Prem Ranjan on Monday to submit their demands, including a barricade along this particular ghat.