In a bizarre incident, the 'selfie craze' claimed two young lives in Patiala as they slipped into the Bhakra Canal on Nabha road while they were busy taking pictures.
While body of the one of the deceased, Arshdeep Singh (25) was recovered on Tuesday, the body of 24-year-old Nitesh Sharma was yet to be found.
The incident, which took place on August 29, came to light on Monday when the police interrogated Jaspreet Singh, a 24-year-old student from Khalsa College, on a complaint from Nitesh's father.
The local police said Jaspreet was along with the deceased when the incident took place. They all had gone to celebrate Arshdeep's birthday on August 29. However, their celebration turned sour while taking selfies, as two of them slipped into the canal and drowned.
"For initial two days, Jaspreet remained silent on the issue. He hid the information from his family members. But when pressurised by the police, he narrated the whole incident," said Tripuri station house officer Rajesh Chhiber.
He said soon after Jaspreet's revelation, a rescue team was sent and they recovered Arshdeep's body on Tuesday afternoon. His mortal remains were cremated today, following post mortem at a government hospital. "Efforts are on to recover Nitesh's body too," he added
Arshdeep was working in an electronic shop in Patiala and had recently purchased Apple phone (5S model), while Nitesh was a call centre employee. "He was taking picture from with his new mobile," police said
Foul play not ruled out, Jaspreet booked
Meanwhile, police has not ruled out a foul play into this incident. The police was suspicious of the fact that Jaspreet did not alarm immediately when the two slipped into the canal, despite the fact that police post was near the spot.
Further, he did not disclose the incident even after the deceased's family kept asking him about their kin's whereabouts for two days.
Based on the initial investigation, police has booked Jaspreet under Sections 304 and 201 of the IPC. "Jaspreet is already under police custody for further interrogation, although formal arrest is yet to be made," said local police officers.
"Initial post mortem report of Arshdeep has suggested his death due to drowning," said local medical officers. However, the final opinion about his death will be given following the diatom test and viscera report that has been sent for chemical examination in government facility in Kharar.