Eight people, including seven girls, drowned in two locations in the Latehar district of Jharkhand during the ‘Karma Puja’ festivities on Saturday. The incidents took place in the village of Bukru under Sheregada panchayat in the district.
The deceased had gone to a pond to dive after Karma Puja, a major festival in Jharkhand, Deputy Commissioner Abu Imran said.
The district’s Deputy Commissioner for Development, Shekhar Verma, was asked to carry out an investigation into the drowning of the seven girls between the ages of 12 and 20 in Bukru, Imran added.
A group of 10 girls from the village had gone to the pond with ‘Karam Dali’ to submerge when two of them began to drown and screamed for help. The villagers rushed to save them after hearing their screams, but they were unable to save them all.
Palamu Range Commissioner Jatashankar Choudhary said the incident occurred during the ‘Karam dali’ dive and that the bodies of the girls, who drowned while trying to save each other, were sent to the Latehar District Hospital. Three other girls are in treatment.
“Four girls died on the spot while three others breathed their last on the way to Balumath CHC,” authorities told PTI.
Among the dead were three sisters Rekha Kumar (18), Reena Kumari (16) and Lakshmi Kumari (12), daughters of Aklu Ganjhu.
The others were identified as: Sushma Kumari (12) daughter of Charan Ganjhu, Pinky Kumari (18) daughter of Jagan Ganjhu, Sunita Kumari (20) daughter of Fifa Ganjhu, Basanti Kumari (12) daughter of Laldeo Ganjhu and Suraj (10) ) son of Yashwant Vishwakarma.
Following the incident, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Ram Nath Kovind expressed their condolences.
Shocked by the loss of young lives due to drowning in Latehar district, Jharkhand. In this hour of sadness, condolences to the grieving families, “the PMO tweeted.
“It deeply pains me to hear the news of the death of many girls in a painful accident during the Karam Dali dive in Latehar, Jharkhand. In this hour of grief, I express my deepest condolences to the grieving members of the family, “President Kovind said in a tweet.
Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren also expressed shock at the incident.
“Shocked to learn of the death of seven girls due to drowning during the immersion of ‘Karam Dali’ (branch of the Karam tree) in Sheregada of Latehar district. May God grant peace to the deceased souls and give strength to the grieving families to bear the loss, “Soren said in a tweet.
Meanwhile, agitated villagers in Bukru blocked the Balumath-Chatra Road-National Highway 98, claiming that the incident occurred due to the expansion of the pond for excavation.
The blockade could only be lifted late at night after a senior official assured them compensation of ₹4 lakh each for the families of the seven girls.
Karma is an important festival in Jharkhand related to the worship of Mother Nature and is celebrated with great enthusiasm, mainly by tribes.
Never miss a story! Stay connected and informed with Mint. Download our application now !!
"खाना विशेषज्ञ। जोम्बी प्रेमी। अति कफी अधिवक्ता। बियर ट्रेलब्लाजर। अप्रिय यात्रा फ्यान।"