Sisters' bodies yet to be traced in Chunchi Falls

They were washed away in flash floods on Sunday; rescue operation to continue today
Last Updated 18 May 2015, 19:18 IST

The search operation to recover the bodies of two young sisters from the City, who were washed away in the Arkavathi river at the Chunchi Falls in the Kanakapura taluk of Ramanagara district on Sunday afternoon has not yielded any results.

Several teams that included men from local police, forest department, fire department and around 15 expert swimmers, resumed the operation on Monday morning which went on till late in the evening. However, the teams failed to recover the bodies. The operation will resume on Tuesday.

Malini, 22, and Shalini, 20, both residents of Ittamadu, were among a team of seven members that had gone for an outing on Sunday afternoon. Flash floods came after water was released from the dam constructed across Arkavathi river at Harobele. All the seven were sitting on two separate rocks in the river clicking pictures. The two sisters failed to realise the flash floods, slipped off the rock and were washed away. However, five others were rescued late in the night.

“The bodies must have been struck between rocks deep in the river. We will resume the operation from 7 am on Tuesday and hope to recover them by evening,” a police officer told Deccan Herald.

Malini and Shalini are daughters of Raju and Sarala, a home maker. They had a brother named Bharath, 16, who was one among the rescued. Raju and Sarala were highly inconsolable when they were waiting for the search operation.

“I have been a poor person all along my life, but wanted to my daughters to come up in life,” Raju told Deccan Herald. He said he worked hard and ensured better education to his daughters so that they were better employed.

Malini’s wedding alliance was finalised recently and the wedding was to happen shortly, he added and said: “ I have lost hopes in life.”

Malini, Shalini and Bharath celebrated the birthday of their relative on Saturday. They told their parents that they would offer special pooja at Banashankari temple and return. However, all the three and four of their acquaintances left for the falls on three bikes.
They played in the river for some time as the water level was low. They sat on a few rocks and captured photographs. Later, Malini and Shalini sat on one rock, while five others were on another when the flash floods arrived, said the police.

Negligence blamed
Villagers attributed the incident to the negligence of the dam authorities. They would announce in all villages before releasing the water from the dam. The water was released without any prior announcement. The seven would not have entered the water had there been a warning, they said.

Ramanagar SP Dr Chandragupta and other senior officers visited the spot and supervised the rescue operation. “The place where the tragedy occurred is dangerous. The district administration has issued warnings against entering the water. Despite our warning such incident take place. We will take more measures to prevent such tragedies in future,” he said.

(Published 18 May 2015, 19:18 IST)

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