Shivamogga village in collective grief

Shivamogga village in collective grief

Shivamogga village in collective grief

A pall of gloom descended on Hadonahalli village near Shivamogga on Thursday, a day after 12 of its residents drowned in the Tungabhadra River during the immersion of a Ganesha idol.

Each household was in mourning as residents had lost either a relative, friend or acquaintance. The sight of people consoling the bereaved families was evident in the village which has more than 2,000 families. People from nearby villages visited Hadonahalli to share the grief. Ten of the 12 people who drowned were aged between 20 and 22.

Father sees sons dying
Shekharappa, an areca nut farmer, saw his two sons Veeresh, 22, and Jeevan, 20, dying. Veeresh was working as a lineman with the Mangalore Electricity Supply Company (Mescom) at Holaluru near Shivamogga, while Jeevan was studying engineering at PESITM in Shivamogga. Both had taken leave to participate in the immersion ceremony.

“It was the first time that my sons took part in the immersion ceremony. I asked them not to board the coracle as it was overcrowded with more than 20 people. But they ignored my advice. I saw them drowning when the coracle capsized. I could not control my emotion. I screamed and prayed to God for their survival, but that was not to be,” Shekharappa told DH.

Illegal sand mining
A group of villagers was of the opinion that illegal sand mining was the main reason for the incident.

Basappa, a villager, said, “Tungabhadra is not flowing in this area as large holes have been dug to lift sand illegally from the riverbed. The bodies were stuck 25 feet deep. If the riverbed was not so deep, we could have rescued them.”

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