8-year-old drowns in civic pool near Mumbai on first day of swimming camp; 4 held

The parents of the victim, Yug Ladwa, have alleged that the coach, Rahul Toke, was not present at the time of the incident and lied to them when they came to pick him up after the session.
Yug Ladwa, a Class 3 student, who lived at Regal Heights in Vasant Nagari, Vasai, had gone to attend the swimming training camp at the Vasai civic pool in Krishna Township where the incident took place.(HT Photo)
Yug Ladwa, a Class 3 student, who lived at Regal Heights in Vasant Nagari, Vasai, had gone to attend the swimming training camp at the Vasai civic pool in Krishna Township where the incident took place.(HT Photo)
Updated on Apr 09, 2019 12:32 AM IST
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Hindustan Times | ByRam Parmar, Mumbai

An eight-year-old boy allegedly drowned in a civic pool in Vasai on the first day of a swimming camp on Sunday. The Manickpur police arrested four people, including the contractor of the pool and the coach on Sunday. The parents of the victim, Yug Ladwa, have alleged that the coach, Rahul Toke, was not present at the time of the incident and lied to them when they came to pick him up after the session. The police said there were no lifeguards at the pool either.

Ladwa, a Class 3 student, who lived at Regal Heights in Vasant Nagari, Vasai, had gone to attend the swimming training camp at the Vasai civic pool in Krishna Township as his vacation had started, said Rajendra Kamble, senior inspector, Manickpur police station.

When Ladwa’s father, Sanjay, 40, went to pick him up after the session around 7pm, he was missing. Toke told Sanjay that Ladwa may be playing with his friends and so he began looking for him. On not being able to find his son, Sanjay went back near the poolside around 7.45pm and saw Toke and three others pumping water out of Ladwa’s body, said Kamble. The pool authorities were shocked to see Sanjay there, added the officer.

Although Sanjay immediately rushed Ladwa to Golden Park Hospital in Vasai, he was declared dead on arrival, said Kamble.

“Obviously, the coach knew that Ladwa had drowned, but lied to his parents, which is a serious offence,” said Kamble. “We have sent the body for post mortem and are waiting for the report. We arrested Toke; Balkrishna Sharma, the contractor; and two others under section 304 (a) (causing death by negligence) of the Indian Penal Code. They were released on bail after being produced before the Vasai court on Monday,” said Kamble.

The officer also said they have written to the Vasai civic authorities, asking for an explanation on hiring the accused contractor and coach.

“We have asked the civic body about the coach’s qualifications and if he was eligible to conduct such swimming training camps. Also, we have questioned why there were no life guards at the pool. We have asked how many students were taking swimming lessons at the camp,” said Kamble.

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