Tragedy struck Jhavar Yadav twice. Three years ago, Yadav, 50, lost his wife and son in a boat mishap.
On Dussehra, two of his grandsons and a granddaughter also met a watery grave. At least 30 people, mostly women and children, drowned and over 45 went missing after their boats capsized in north Bihar’s Bagmati and Kamala Balan rivers during Vijayadashmi celebrations on Monday.
Additional Director General (headquarters) Neelmani, who goes by just his first name, said 30 bodies had been recovered.
Twenty one people drowned when a boat carrying over 100 people, overturned in the Bagmati in Khagaria district, about 200 km north of Patna.
Rajesh Yadav, 32, of Shaharbanni village, who managed to swim to safety, said a seven-minute cyclone turned the boat upside down. “Over 100 people were packed in the boat. Only 30 of us could come out alive.”
Four members of 52-year-old Bachnu Yadav’s family have gone missing. “My world has collapsed,” he told HT.
In another mishap, nine people died when their boat sank in the Kamala Balan in Darbhanga district, about 150 km north of Patna. Police said the accident happened when the women and children were returning from a Dussehra fair.
Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has announced a compensation of Rs 1.50 lakh to the families of the deceased.