6 children drown in 2 incidents
In the first incident, four children, including three girls, drowned in the Buggi Basavanna tank on Kallur road on the outskirts of the town on Saturday morning.
The deceased have been identified as: Pooja Ganapath, 10, Latha Vasanth, nine, Roopa Gudappa, nine and Yuvaraj Badal, seven. They were part of a group of children that left home to fetch firewood. They belonged to a family that resided in a tent at the IDSMT park in the town.
On the way, Yuvaraj entered the tank for a swim. When he failed to return, the other three children also went to the tank, and entered the water in an effort to save him. They were washed away.
The other children in the group rushed home and informed the parents about the incident.
Police and fire personnel came to the spot and, with the help of expert swimmers, retrieved the bodies.
Lok Sabha member representing Bidar constituency, Dharam Singh, and MLA Rajashekar B Patil have announced a compensation of Rs one lakh from the chief minister’s relief fund to the kin of each of the children who drowned. Patil provided a personal compensation of Rs 5,000 to perform the last rites of each of the deceased children.
In the other incident, two brothers accidentally fell and drowned in a pond dug to immerse Ganesha idols at Gandhinagar in Dharwad on Saturday morning.
The deceased have been indetified as: Prajwal Mulgund, seven, and Nagaraj Mulgund, six. Prajwal was studying in class 1 in the Gandhinagar school, while Nagaraj was a pre-nursery student.
The brothers, after lighting fire crackers near the pond prior to the idol immersion, stepped back for safety and fell into the seven-foot deep pond.
It took almost two hours to fish out the bodies of the children.
Some residents blamed the Yuvaka Mandal for digging the pond without proper security measures.
“We had advised the Mandal members not to dig the pond in the Samudaya Bhavan premises as it could prove dangerous. But our words went unheeded,” said a resident of the area.