River grave for 3 boys

RISKY WATERS: People gather in front of Jamunia river near Dhanbad where two teenagers drowned on Sunday. Picture by Gautam Dey

Jamshedpur/Dhanbad: Three boys, including a 10-year-old, drowned in separate incidents in the steel city and coal town on Sunday morning.

Ayush Chaudhury, a Class III student of a government middle school in Bagbera, Jamshedpur, was taking a dip in the Kharkai river at Baroda ghat, a stone's throw from home, along with his friends around 7am when tragedy struck.

Ayush was the only son of his parents. Father Dhiraj Chaudhury, a resident of Bajrang Tekri Road in Bagbera, is an auto-rickshaw driver who ferries schoolchildren.

Bagbera thana OC Ram Yash Prasad said the group of children were playing cricket in a nearby field when, according to eyewitnesses, Ayush and two others decided to take a bath in the river.

"The water was deep and they began drowning. Their screams were heard by a man who was also bathing in the river. He managed to save two of the boys, but the third went missing. He was later identified as Ayush," the officer said.

OC Prasad added that local divers had been pressed into service, but the boy's body had not been found till evening. "The current was strong. The body may have been swept downstream."

In Gomoh, 30km from Dhanbad town, two teenagers drowned in the Jamunia river around 11am while their friend had a close shave.

The victims have been identified as Dev Kumar (13) and Sohit Kumr (14), both residents of suburban Loco Bazaar. Their friend, Niraj Kumar (12), has been admitted to hospital.

Local residents said the boys, along with two others, were cleaning the Jamunia ghat - some 3km from their homes - for family members who fast and offer prayers on Chhath.

"They couldn't resist taking a dip or two even though the river was in spate after two days of rain. The water was deep and the current strong," said Subhash Hadi, a daily wage earner and father of Dev.

Hariharpur thana OC Arvind Kumar said Dev and Sohit, son of another daily wage earner Sanjay Hadi, were declared brought dead at Patliputra Medical College and Hospital.


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