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Missing after swim in waterfall

- Hunt for Dum Dum software engineer at Devkund in Odisha

A software engineer from Calcutta has gone missing in Odisha where he was on a holiday with friends since August 15.

Rajib Ghosh, 27, along with six friends had gone to the Devkund waterfall, about 350km from Calcutta, in Mayurbhanj district of the neighbouring state around 1.30pm on Saturday where he is feared drowned, said police officers in Baripada and family members in Calcutta.

Rajib and three others in the group of friends were from Nutan Bazaar in the Dum Dum Cantonement area.

The other three were his colleagues.

According to one of the friends accompanying him, he had ventured deep into the water and went beyond a “safety point”.

“We kept urging Rajib to stay with us and not to go farther into the water. But he did not pay heed. After some time we could not spot him. We searched the entire area but Rajib was nowhere to be found,” said Ratan Talukdar, who has been friends with Rajib since Class V.

Ratan along with the other friends returned to their hotel and alerted Rajib’s relatives in Dum Dum.

Following the distress call, one of Rajib’s relatives set off for Odisha and reached Devkund.

Officers of the fire department and the Odisha Disaster Rapid Action Force have been searching for the young man.

“He could not be traced till evening despite daylong efforts,” said sub-divisional police officer K.C. Nayak.

He had joined a multinational IT firm in April after a three-year stint Mumbai. He was based in the Sector V office of the IT company.

Rajib, the only child of his parents, had completed his studies from Narula Institute of Technology on the outskirts of Calcutta in 2010.

Devkund, a part of Udala division of Similipal forests, is famous for its waterfall that plunges 60ft to a lake. It is around 70km away from Panchlingeswar, another tourist spot of neighbouring Balasore and around 275km from Bhubaneswar. This is one of the five sacred waterfalls in Mayurbhanj district.

Rajib and his six friends left for Devkund by train on the morning of August 15. They were due to return to Calcutta by Sunday night.

They first went to Panchalingeshwar in Baleswar district and then to nearby Devkund on Saturday to take a bath in the lake, his family members said.

His friends are still in Devkund.

Rajib’s father Nikhil Ghosh, who works for an export firm, said his son was a good swimmer. But disaster experts said swimming skills might not come handy in the sea or under a waterfall.

“He was supposed to return on Sunday night and join office on Monday,” Ghosh said.

The family alleged that officers of Dum Dum police station refused to lodge a complaint about his disappearance. “The officers told us that they did not have any information of the incident. They said since he went missing in Devkund, we should lodge a complaint there,” alleged a relative.

C. Sudhakur, the deputy commissioner of police (detective department) at Barrackpore commissionarate, denied the allegation.

“We take every complaint and there is no question of refusal,” he said.

Bike accident

Three men sustained injuries after the two-wheeler they were riding skidded off the road near Chatterjeehat off the Kona Expressway in Howrah early on Sunday.

Police said the men, all in their mid 30s, have been identified as Prabir Banerjee, Bhanu Banerjee and Kunal Das.

They were on their way to Calcutta when the accident occurred, said the police. They were treated at a nursing home, where Prabir and Kunal received stitches on their hands and legs while Bhanu was sent home after first aid.