Vihar lake claims 5th victim in a month

Jun 28, 2012, 07:09 IST | Vinay Dalvi

15-year-old had gone to the lake after school closed early due to power cut; friends ignored him when he first started struggling, sure he was bluffing

Two days after a 13-year-old boy drowned in a construction pit at Sanpada, a 15-year-old’s lifeless body was fished out of Vihar lake yesterday at 10 am.

Watery grave: (Insert) Durgesh’s friends said that he was the only one who knew how to swim, but still drowned. Pics/Siddharth Dhadve

According to officials, Durgesh Rambachan Sahani, a resident of Tulsipada, Bhandup, drowned in Vihar lake where he and his friends had gone, after hunting for crabs at Sanjay Gandhi National Park.

According to his friends, the Std X student had gone to Gayatri Vidya Mandir school on Tuesday morning as usual. However, suffering from power outages, the authorities at school decided to shut school early and the students were let off by 10 am. Sahani and his few friends decided to go to Sanjay Gandhi National Park and then to Vihar lake. “We first went to catch crabs and then to Vihar Lake. None of us knew how to swim except for Durgesh. He dived into the water, but suddenly we noticed he was having trouble swimming. Thinking he was faking it and trying to make fun of us, we didn’t care at first. But when we could not see him , we panicked,” said Chandrashekar Pandey, another student.

The students then rushed home and informed Durgesh’s mother about the entire incident. “She rushed to the police station and we informed the fire brigade and search operations began. We finally found Durgesh’s body this morning,” said Jalendra Jadhav, PSI, Bhandup police station.

Jadhav added that before Durgesh drowned, he had returned home to change his clothes after school shut for the day. Durgesh’s mother even tried to stop him from going, but failed. The police added that this was the fifth incident of drowning in the Vihar lake in the last one month.

Dr Singh, the principal of Durgesh’s school, said, “We have been facing several power cuts and it becomes very dark owing to which we have to shut early. We have complained about it to the power companies but no action has been taken yet.” 

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