In a repeat of a July 2013 incident, two girls were washed away in fast currents of the Ghaggar at Pinjore on Saturday. The deceased have been identified as Monica of Rajiv Colony, Panchkula, and Neelam of Mauli Jagran, both around 17 years old.
The two girls were accompanying their friends Manisha, 18, and Idris, 16, both of Rajiv Colony, to a waterfall near Shani temple located between Burjkotia and Ambwala villages.
Idris told the police the three girls entered the river to take bath, while he kept standing near his motorcycle.
“Around 3.30pm, the water level rose all of a sudden and the three girls slipped further into the river,” said assistant sub-inspector (ASI) Janak Raj, in charge of the Amravati police post in Pinjore.
Idris jumped into the river on hearing Manisha’s screams and managed to save her, but the other two girls could not hold onto their friend, and were swept away, said police.
Later, Idris and Manisha alerted the villagers, who fished out Neelam’s body, 2 km from the spot, and informed the police.
“Monica is still missing. We have deployed around 10 divers to find her. Kalka sub-divisional magistrate (SDM) is on the spot, leading the rescue operation,” said Panchkula deputy commissioner (DC) Garima Mittal.
The DC said Monica’s body could have reached Panchkula, and both municipal corporation and irrigation department officials have been involved in the operation. Kalka SDM Ashutosh Rajan said the drivers are searching for Monica in the Nada Sahib-Chandikotla stretch.
Police informed parents of both the girls after the incident. Neelam’s body has been kept at the Sector-6 General Hospital in Panchkula for the post-mortem examination. Her father, who is a labourer, had reached there, said Pinjore SHO inspector Deepak Sharma.
Panchkula DC Garima Mittal said she has contacted her Chandigarh counterpart as well, as the victim is from Mauli Jagran. “I have also talked to the Haryana chief secretary. We will decide about the relief amount by Sunday,” she said.
While Neelam used to stay at home, Monica was learning dance at Vikas Nagar. The two had visited the waterfall along with their friends earlier too, said police.