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8 bodies yet to be found

Had Asif Mohammed listened to his mother Lali’s (40) warning and not gone for the Durga idol immersion on Thursday afternoon, he could have been alive today.

delhi Updated: Oct 10, 2008 23:51 IST
HT Correspondent

Had Asif Mohammed listened to his mother Lali’s (40) warning and not gone for the Durga idol immersion on Thursday afternoon, he could have been alive today.

Mohammed was in his twenties and employed as a daily wage labourer, is one of the nine people who are suspected to have drowned during idol immersion at Burari in north Delhi on Thursday.

Despite exhaustive search operations, the police are yet to recover his body.

All nine victims had a common address –– Gali Number 10, Anand Parbat, Sonia Vihar Pushta in west Delhi.

As she waits endlessly about the confirmation of her son being dead or alive, Lali grieved, “I did not want him to go, but his friends and the village pradhan forced him to join them. He did not even know how to swim.”

The rescue operations on the second day, on Friday, went without much success.

The divers could fish out just one body, of Jitender (22), who was among the nine men who have gone missing.

“We have not recovered any more bodies after a long day’s search. The operations were stopped late in the evening due to bad lighting. We will again go back tomorrow and continue the search operations,” said a Delhi Fire Services officer.

Even as they squabble over the drowning tragedy, over the issue of determining their respective territorial jurisdiction, rescue-teams belonging to Ghaziabad and Delhi continued their search hoping to net more missing persons.

The rescue teams are taking help of divers, and even local professional fishermen, to recover the bodies.

According to local residents, the ill-fated spot in Burari, where the drownings occurred, was chosen as an immersion-spot since it was secluded, and not crowded by other devotees similarly vying for immersing idols, even though the place was not authorised for the same by the authorities.

In the other drowning incident that happened near Bhajanpura on Thursday, the Delhi Fire Services managed to recover the bodies of two victims –– Mandeep and Sandeep.