Ganesh idols immersed in Yamuna despite ban; two bodies untraceable
Agra: Lord Ganesh idols were Monday immersed in especially developed "visarjan kunds" in Uttar Pradesh's Agra following a court order but some flouted the ban and did the immersion in the Yamuna river. Two youths drowned during the ceremonies and their bodies were still untraceable.
People bid a tearful farewell to Lord Ganesh as immersions marked the end of the 10-day Ganeshotsav.
Chaos prevailed at the Yamuna ghats in Agra, as a record number of idols were immersed, some in the artificial "visarjan kunds" - immersion tanks - developed by the Agra Municipal Corporation, and some into the Yamuna river that had few policemen on duty.
Police teams had a tough time persuading the groups to wait for their turn to immerse the idols in the "kunds" at Haathi Ghat.
At Dussehra Ghat, in the neighbourhood of the Taj Mahal, Bajrang Dal volunteers dug up a tank after the Nagar Nigam failed to provide one.
District officials said in the evening that "while majority of the idols were immersed in the 'kunds' on orders from the Allahabad High Court, a few groups, despite a ban, carried out the immersion in the river, particularly in the Kailash temple area".
A temple priest, Nandan Shrotriya said he had never seen such a religious fervour in which all the mohallas and colonies of Agra were competing to create maximum noise on their loudspeakers, dancing to "filmi" music on the roads and creating clouds of colourful "gulal".
In a tragic incident early Monday, three youths - Sanjay (22), Annu (16) and Rinku Shivpuri (17) - drowned when they ventured into the deep waters while avoiding the main Balkeshwar Ghat to immerse their Ganesh idol.
Locals present there jumped into the river to save the youths and managed to rescue one of them. However, he too died after being brought to the ghat.
PAC divers with fire brigade personnel searched for the other two bodies till dark, but without success.