In a tragic incident, two third-year LLB students of Chanakya National Law University (CNLU) were feared drowned in the swollen Gandak in the wee hours of Sunday, near Konhara Ghat under Hajipur Town police station, some 18.5km north of the state capital.
The Vaishali district administration pressed divers into service to locate them. A National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) team was also searching for the ‘missing’ duo.
However, the duo — later identified as Abhishek Raj, 25, son of Dr Surendra Kumar Prasad of Ara and Sriyan Paras, 26, son of Paras Gupta of Kanpur (Uttar Pradesh) — could not be found till Sunday evening.
Additional superintendent of police (ASP), Arvind Gupta told Hindustan Times: “I got an SOS from one of the students, who accompanied the victims, around 3.20am Sunday about the incident. He said two students had got swept away by the strong currents of the swollen river as soon as they entered it.”
Quoting other students, the ASP said they had come for a short picnic, post-examinations.
“They reached the spot around 11pm on Saturday on sporty motorbikes. After eating whatever they had brought, they decided to take bath around 3.10am,” he said.
Incidentally, two beer bottles were found at the spot, besides two pairs of slippers and the motorcycles they rode. However, the ASP said only a medical examination would confirm whether the victims had consumed liquor.
According to CNLU authorities, the students left the hostel between 8pm and 9pm on Saturday without informing the warden or their parents.
“I came to know of the incident around 5.30am Sunday. The assistant warden of hostel and the assistant registrar were immediately despatched to the spot, while I informed the police. I, too, visited the spot later in the morning,” said CNLU registrar S P Singh, who termed the incident as “most unfortunate”.
Clarifying that the students did not visit the spot as part of any university or department-sponsored activity, Singh said, “They never informed anyone. In the hostels, 10pm is their reporting time. If a student wishes to go out after that, we ask for explanation. Even then, we hardly allow it.”
“If students, who go before that time, are running late, they are required to inform the warden. It was also not done,” he added.
Assistant warden Soumendra Nath Nandi affirmed that the students had left without permission.
“At this point, I am not in a position to speak more on the issue,” he said.
Family members of Raj had reached Hajipur, while those of Paras were reported to be on their way, the police said.