Man continues search for son in Guwahati drains for third day

The entire state has been reeling under floods, with over 24.50 lakh people affected in 30 districts and major rivers flowing above the danger level at several places.
Last Updated : 06 July 2024, 12:48 IST

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Guwahati: A desperate man continued to search for his eight-year-old son in drains in the hilly Jyotinagar area in Guwahati for the third day on Saturday, even as parts of Assam’s largest city reeled under floods.

Abhinash had fallen into an open stormwater drain after slipping from his father’s scooter on Thursday evening, and since then Hiralal Sarkar has been searching for his boy.

The state machinery has also launched a search operation since the incident, with various machines and sniffer dogs.

A relentless search by Hiralal has led him to find the sandals he claimed his son was wearing on Thursday evening.

“I have been searching with an iron rod and have managed to find my son's sandals. I possibly cannot find him with the rod. The government has the machinery, they must find my boy,” Hiralal told reporters, showing one of the pairs of sandals he retrieved from the drain, some distance away from the spot where he had found the other.

He handed the sandals over to the police for verification.

Hiralal, who spent the night under a mosquito net on the veranda of a shop, said, “How can I go home when my son is here? I know my son is here, and I won’t rest till I find him.” Abhinash was returning home with his father from the latter’s shop on Thursday late evening amid a heavy shower when their scooter skidded and the boy who was pillion riding slipped and fell into the open drain.

Hiralal had said he could spot his son’s hand in the drain a couple of times and dived in, but could not get a hold of him.

Clad in a saffron-coloured T-shirt and black half-pants, the father has been wading through the water, slush and garbage of the drain with a stick and an iron rod in hand looking for Abhinash for the last two days.

Officials said multiple agencies are coordinating in the search operation, including the SDRF, fire and emergency services department and the municipal corporation.

“Search operations continued till late on Friday night and resumed in the morning. We have used sniffer dogs, excavators and super suckers at different locations,” an official said.

The official added that the various points towards which the drain water could have possibly flown have been mapped and a search is on.

The parts of the drain which are covered with concrete slabs in the downstream areas are being lifted and a search was conducted for the missing boy, he said.

Meanwhile, several parts of Guwahati, including Anil Nagar, Nabin Nagar and Rukminigaon, continued to be inundated since heavy rainfall lashed the city since Thursday evening.

SDRF and the local Kamrup Metropolitan administration have been providing relief to the stranded people at different locations, while pumps have also been used to clear the water.

An Assam State Disaster Management Authority bulletin on Friday said that over 7,000 people in two revenue circles of the district were affected by the urban flood.

The entire state has been reeling under floods, with over 24.50 lakh people affected in 30 districts and major rivers flowing above the danger level at several places.

The toll in this year’s flood has been 52 so far, while 12 others have lost their lives due to landslides and storms.

Published 06 July 2024, 12:48 IST

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