HUMAN TRAGEDY: Five kids drown in Ganga

HUMAN TRAGEDY: Five kids drown in Ganga – no scope for compensation, okay – but no scope of even prevention measures, like proper safety education ?!!

FROM THE TELEGRAPH CORRESPONDENT

Malda, June 18: Five children from a remote Malda island drowned in the Ganga while bathing yesterday.

The children — identified as Debashree Sarkar, 10, Tukia Mondal, 11, Puja Mondal, 9, Ketaki Sarkar, 11, and Vikram Mondal, 10 — were from Bhutni island’s Parantola village, about 30km from Manikchak.

Sudipto Das, the block development officer of Manikchak, 45km from here, said the children had gone to bathe in the Keshorpur Colony ghat in North Chandipur gram panchayat. “When the children did not return home at noon, the guardians started searching for them and found two bodies floating in the river. As they raised the alarm, some fishermen came to their help and fished out the other three bodies,” Das said.

According to district police chief Bhuban Mondal, the rain-fed Ganga has swelled in the past few days. “The place where the children drowned is deep because it is the confluence of the Ganga and the Koshi. The children reached the ghat before their guardians could arrive for the holy dip to mark Jamai Sasthi,” he said.

A pall of gloom descended on the area as the bodies were brought to the village. Sital Saha, the gram panchayat pradhan, said the deceased were the children of day labourers. “The parents had appealed to the panchayat to avoid post-mortem because in that case the bodies would have to be brought to town and it would be troublesome for the poor family members.”

District magistrate Pramol Kumar Samanata said he had received the report from the BDO late last night.

“Since there is no scope for compensation in case of drowning deaths, the bodies were cremated. Post-mortem was not done on the bodies following requests from the villagers,” Samanta said.

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