Inebriated, 5 die in Yamuna when they dive to save drowning friend

Five youths drowned in Yamuna when they tried to save a friend who lost balance and collapsed in the river while bathing after Holi celebrations at north Delhi’s Burari on Monday. It is alleged that they consumed alcohol on the banks of the river and were in an inebriated condition.

Gopesh, 23, Dheeraj, 23, Suresh, 24, Praveen, 25, and Govind, 23, residents of Chauhan Patti and Rawal Nagar, hailed from Bihar and West Bengal.

Police said they had gone to ghat number seven in Burari with friends Anees, 23, and Mithun, 22. Anees, however, did not go into the river. He has told police that they went to the river bank around 3.30 pm.

“The current was too strong due to which Mithun lost his balance and got carried away,” said a police officer. It is claimed that others tried to save him, but failed to gauge the depth of the river.

They went ahead and reached the middle of the river, where they could not stand due to the flow of the water. Soon, they were washed away. Meanwhile, Anees approached locals for help and informed police.

“We approached Delhi Fire Service for rescue operation support around 4.20 pm. The six youths were rushed to Guru Teg Bahadur Hospital, where five of them were declared brought dead,” the officer added. Mithun survived.

Eyewitnesses told police that Anees had warned his friends of the river’s depth and had advised them to be cautious. However, they did not pay heed to him and went into it. Police have ruled out involvement of foul play, but are investigating.

Suresh was a home guard posted at Delhi Police headquarters, Praveen ran a garments shop at Chandni Chowk, Govind was an accountant with a private firm in Kashmere Gate, while Dheeraj and Gopesh owned a cyber cafe.

Earlier

The incident is not one-off. In September 2013, at least 17 people had drowned during the immersion of Lord Ganesha at Wazirabad’s Surya Ghat. Several other drowning incidents were also reported from Sonia Vihar and Burari.

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