Five teenagers from Delhi, who had gone to Kerala as part of the National Cadet Corps or NCC’s national trekking camp, drowned after they fell into the Periyar river there.
The boys were taking photographs, when two of them slipped and fell into the waters. The other three also drowned while trying to save them.
While Hemant Kumar, 15, was a class 10 student of the Senior Secondary Boys School, Kalkaji, the other four victims included Mohammed Zeeshan, 18, Shabeesh Baqri, 18 and Dilshad Alam, 18, of Jamia Millia Islamia, and Gulvez Ahmed, 18, of Shaheed Bhagat Singh College.
The incident happened when the cadets were trekking in the Mahogany Forest Plantation at Moolamkuzhi near the Periyar river, a senior NCC official said.
"There are standing orders in all NCC camps not to go near water bodies,” said administrative officer, NCC, Lt Col Madhusoodanan. Officials from Jamia expressed grief at the incident.
“The students were pursuing their diploma in engineering from the university’s polytechnic and were in the second year. The incident is very sad and the whole university is mourning the loss. We are sure an inquiry into the incident will be initiated soon,” said Simi Malhotra, Jamia’s media coordinator.
Kerala ports and excise minister, K Babu, said a compensation of Rs. 3.5 lakh would be paid by NCC to the next of kin of each of the deceased.
(With inputs from agencies)