A 22-year-old youth, Sahil Bhagat, was drowned and died in the sarovar at the Durgiana temple here on Saturday.
The police claimed that there was nothing suspicious about the death the boy, who had come with his friends to pay obeisance at the temple and he was drowned after he slipped while taking a holy dip.
The incident took place at around 9:45am and the body of the boy was recovered at 11am, which clearly showed that temple authorities lacked life guards or experts, who could have saved the boy. The devotees, present at the spot, also complained that there was no any sevadar at the parikarma of the sarovar to keep a check.
On Saturday, there were hundreds of devotees at the temple because of the ‘langoor mela’, which is celebrated with great enthusiasm and no one noticed that someone is drowning and for about an hour, nobody could even find his body.
It was observed that the sarovar lacks cleanliness as the people, who recovered the body, said algae beneath the holy pool can be a reason for the slip and the boy lost control. Neither the sarovar is well equipped with chains on which a devotee taking a holy dip can depend and hold on, nor the authorities have equipments like big nets etc. There is no demarcation at the temple where it is notified that people should not go beyond the railings in the water and no particular spot has been notified where everyone should be together to take the holy dip. The sarovar is more than 10 feet deep. Durgiana Chowki incharge Pannalal said, “Sahil was son of Dheeraj Kumar, had come with his friends to pay obeisance at the temple and slipped and drowned in the sarovar while bathing. It is an accident, and there is nothing suspicious in the incident.”
Family members of the deceased accused temple authorities of not providing safety measures and sufficient help in time.
Sahil’s uncle Charanjit Singh (mother’s brother) and his mother said , “We lost Sahil because temple lacks life guards/professionals, who could have saved their child in time. It took them an hour to locate him and that’s because at the parikarma also there were no sevadars who could see him drowning.”
Charanjit said that Sahil before leaving home said he was going to Shaheeda Sahib gurdwara but he went to Durgiana with his friends from where he never returned.
Other relatives at the civil hospital where the body was taken and declared dead on arrival, said that devotees helped to trace the body and a few others said that professionals from the Golden Temple were called. They recovered the body with the help of ropes and nets. Sahil was working in a private firm and was undertaking training for police recruitment.