Three students went missing in the Ganga in Murshidabad's Kanchantala on Tuesday morning, but one of them was rescued following a search operation.
The children were the students of the Kanchantala High School in Samserganj who were turned away from the school gates by paramilitary personnel around 10am on Tuesday.
The school is yet to open as it has been requisitioned by block officials to accommodate the jawans who have been asked to stay on by Calcutta High Court till August 2 to contain post-poll violence.
In the wake of the incident, local residents are asking why there was a "communication gap" resulting in the children landing up at school in the first place, following which they took an unsupervised swim in the river.
"If the school is formally closed, then why did the parents of these children not know about that," said one neighbour, who was part of an hour-long protest on Tuesday after the reports emerged of the children going missing.
Local youths managed to locate Nazim Sheikh, 13, flailing in the river a few kilometres downstream. He is reportedly safe.The missing children were Mozahid Sheikh, 13 and Rohan Sheikh, 12.
A search operation by Samserganj police is underway, but no leads were reported till Tuesday evening.
All three are Class VI students of the school and are residents of Hizaltala village.
Sources said the school had been closed down for the panchayat elections after a formal requisition by the BDO, reopened for a day on July 13 and then "indefinitely" closed again citing the presence of paramilitary personnel.
BDO Sujib Chandra Lot said he had received information about the missing students and said "information gaps if any" would be probed with block and school officials.
School headmaster Abdul Hai Masud Rahman said there had been close communication with all parents and the turning up of these three students at school had been "an exception".