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Young techie drowns in river off waterfall

The body of software engineer Rajib Ghosh was fished out on Monday from a river streaming out of the Devkund waterfall in Odisha’s Mayurbhanj district.

Ghosh, a 27-year-old employee of Tata Consultancy Services at Sector V in Salt Lake, had gone to Odisha on a holiday with six friends on Friday morning and the group went to Devkund for a swim on Saturday afternoon. He has been missing since then.

“The body will be brought home on Monday night. His relatives had gone to Odisha,” a friend of Rajib’s father Nikhil Ghosh said on Monday.

Fire department officers and the Odisha Disaster Rapid Action Force have been searching for the young engineer.

The group of friends had gone to take a bath at river Deo around 1.30pm on Saturday near Devkund waterfall, about 350km from Calcutta. The tourist spot in Mayurbhanj district is about 275km from Bhubaneswar.

“The body was found floating in the river. It was sent for an autopsy and subsequently handed over to his relatives in the afternoon,” said K.C. Nayak, the subdivisional police officer of Udala.

Rajib was a good swimmer, according to his friends and relatives, but the strong river current near the waterfall could drown even the ablest of swimmers. In 2009, a college student picnicking at the picturesque spot was swept away by the river.

Devkund, a part of Udala division of Similipal forests, is famous for its waterfall that plunges 60ft. It is around 70km from Panchlingeswar, a tourist spot in Baleswar district that the group first went to.

Sources in the Odisha forest department said a signboard clearly warns tourists not to bath or swim in the river. “But many tourists ignore the warning. Rajib’s friends took a dip near the riverbank, but he swam close to the point where the gushing waterfall descends into the river. He couldn’t swim back to safety,” said Satyendra Pala, a forest official.

“Moreover, the river is almost in spate because of the rainy season,” he added.

The young engineer from Dum Dum Cantonment, who had worked in Mumbai for four years before returning to Calcutta in April, was the only child of his parents.

It was erroneously mentioned in Monday’s report that Rajib’s friend Ratan Talukdar had accompanied him on the tour. Ratan is in Calcutta. He and Rajib had been friends since school.

Additional reporting by Sibdas Kundu in Balasore