A moment of madness resulted in the four-minute drowning, caught on CCTV, of a 24-year-old software engineer, of Rail Vihar in Sector 4 of Mansa Devi Complex (MDC), at Hotel North Park in Sector 32 of Panchkula on the intervening night of Thursday and Friday.
The victim Hanish Sharma had attended a birthday party with friends at Sector 26, Chandigarh, before reaching the hotel. Manager Gurmukh Singh has claimed that the group of friends reached the pool by jumping over the grille.
Four minutes of panic, and then death
CCTV footage records that the group entered the pool side — that had a maximum depth of 8 feet — at 12.42am. A minute later, Sharma is seen removing his clothes and jumping into the deep end of the pool. He did not know swimming. His friends are seen pressing him not to jump, but he pushed one of them and dived into the water. The last they saw of him was his hands just above the pool, asking for help. At 12.45am, one of his friends jumped into the water, but fails to locate Sharma in a two-minute search. At 12.47am, another friend rushes to the hotel reception to ask for help.
As the panic in the group rose, two men jumped into the water within seconds of each other. Soon, the hotel staff arrived at the pool side and one of them also jumped in the water.
The police was called in and arrived at 1.22am. The forensics team arrived at 3.09am and Sharma’s body was fished by 3.40am.
The victim’s father Triloki Nath, who works with Chandigarh fire brigade had reached North Park around 2am. His mother works as teacher at Amravati Vidyalaya in Kalka-Pinjore Urban Complex.
After the post-mortem, the family cremated the body at Manimajra based cremation ground. No complaint has been lodged.
Chandimandir SHO inspector Harbhajan Singh said, “Whether Hanish was drunk or not will be proved in the viscera report, though a beer bottle was found from the spot. The group did have drinks in the party they attended.”
The hotel management showed complete CCTV footage to the victim’s father and the police. The cops have now seized the recording.