Stranger drowns in river body hunt

The body of a 45-year-old man, who drowned in the Kharkai on Friday morning while searching for a youth who went underwater on Thursday afternoon, is yet to be found. Divers pressed by the police, however, recovered the youth's body on Friday afternoon.

The case of the back-to-back drowning has created sensation in the city and on its outskirts for the bizarre way they occurred.

On Thursday afternoon around 2.30pm, a youth identified as Madan Kumar (22), a resident of Dimna Bustee, Mango, went to a slum in Adityapur in adjoining Seraikela-Kharsawan, with his friends, painted and attired as mythological characters ' Hanuman, Kali, Shiva and others.

They went around asking for alms from slum-dwellers when suddenly a group of around 10-12 eunuchs, who are residents of the area, raised an alarm that they were kidnappers.

Eunuchs and other slum-dwellers chased the group of youths, caught two of them, tied them to tree trunks and gave them a sound thrashing. Scared, Madan and three of his other friends dived into Kharkai to escape being caught by the mob.

Then, after a while, his friends came out of the water. But Madan did not.

This morning, Vishnu Mukhi (45), of Block No. 5 in Shastrinagar, Kadma, who did not even know Madan, apparently decided to recover the youth's body.

Mukhi, a cleaner, usually took his routine bath in the river. Hearing the strange incident of Thursday, he decided to venture to the exact spot out of curiosity and embark on the rescue mission.

Onlookers watched him take the plunge. When they did not see him come out, they informed his family members who then called in the police.

Sheela Mukhi, victim's sister-in-law, said Mukhi would have been alive had the police succeeded in recovering Madan's body earlier.

However, B.K. Chaturvedi, circle inspector, Kadma-Sonari, said though they were aware of Thursday's drowning, they needed time to depute private divers.

Dhalbhum subdivisional officer Subodh Prasad arranged four divers led by Mazharul Bari and D.K. Mishra around 1pm on Friday.

Madan's body was recovered at 4pm.

But, Mukhi's body could not be recovered till sundown.

Bari, who also works in the Tata Steel security department, said the youth's body was dredged out from a depth of 20ft underwater.

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