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19-year-old youth dies after 'Dahi-handi' rehearsal in Mumbai

Mumbai: A 19-year-old youth today died after participating in 'Dahi-handi' rehearsals in suburban Jogeshwari here, police said.

Rushikesh Sadashiv Patil, a resident of Gandhi Nagar in Behrambaug, participated in the practice session on Saturday, following which he complained of giddiness, police said.

He complained of uneasiness while interacting with his team members soon after the human pyramid practice, Senior PI Subhash Vele at Oshiwara Police station said, adding, he was rushed to nearby Cooper Hospital where he was declared dead at about 11.40 pm.

Police have registered a case of accidental death in this connection as the cause of death is yet to be ascertained and also because the youth did not sustain any injuries during the 'Dahi-handi' practice. "We are awaiting post-mortem report to know the cause of death. Patil had no external injuries and as of now we cannot say that death occurred due to Dahi-handi practice," Vele said.

On Saturday, a 14-year-old Dahi-handi reveller, Kiran Talekar, too succumbed to injuries, almost a week after he fell during rehearsals at Sanpada in Navi Mumbai.

Expressing concern over the deaths of children every year during the Dahi-handi festival in Maharashtra, the Bombay High Court recently told the government to regulate the height of human pyramids and ban participation of minors in it.

Children are often made a part of pyramid-making team, as they are lighter and thus can easily climb to the top. The court also asked the state to ensure that the human pyramids, which try and reach the 'handi' (pot) of curd tied high up and break it, do not rise above a certain safe height. This year the festival falls on August 18.

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