Five minors drowned in separate incidents in different parts of Jharkhand while performing rituals of Karma (a harvest festival observed among tribals) on Tuesday.
Three girls drowned at a dam in Chouparan block in Hazaribagh district, around 150km from Jharkhand’s capital Ranchi, even as locals managed to rescue three other girls from the spot. While two more children drowned in a dam at Baghmara in Dhanbad, three more boys rescued from the same spot are undergoing treatment in hospital.
Both incidents took place at around 8am while the children were taking part in the immersion of twigs as part of Karma festival rituals in the water bodies and could not negotiate the current of the water flow which had increased due to rains in the past few days.
Devraj Kumar, a drowining victim
“It was an unfortunate incident and we would like the parents to prevent children from taking part in immersion rituals in water bodies which are in spate after rains. The local rescuers (divers and fishermen) have managed to retrieve the body of one girl. However, the bodies of two other girls are yet to be fished out. We have sought NDRF help to take out the bodies. After completing the formalities and post mortem we will try to arrange for compensation of Rs 4 lakh as per disaster management rules to the families of the deceased girls,” said Hazaribagh deputy commissioner Nancy Sahay.
Barhi sub-divisional magistrate Poonam Kujur said that the dam near Bachchhai panchayat in Chouparan block was from the Barakkar river and it is very difficult to take out bodies due to strong currents.
Saloni Kumari, who drowned on Tuesday
The three girls who drowned have been identified as Divya Kumari, Sapna Kumari and Saraswati Kumari, all aged between 13 and 14 years and students of Class VIII and residents of Obra village. The body of Divya Kumari has been fished out.
In the second incident at Matigadha dam on Jamuna river under Baghmara police station, two children drowned on Tuesday morning. The bodies were fished out by local divers and rushed to Dumra hospitals where both were declared dead. The deceased have been identified as Devraj Kumar,10, and Saloni Kumari,14, both residents of Matigadha.