In Bukru village in Jharkhand's Latehar district, seven girls aged between 12 and 20 years drowned in a pond amid Karma Puja festivities on Saturday, 18 September, a senior official said, news agency PTI reported.
Karma Puja is a major festival in the state of Jharkhand, and is mostly celebrated by tribal communities.
Deputy Commissioner Abu Imran said that girls had gone to take a dip in the pond after the festival, adding that the Deputy Development Commissioner of the district, Shekhar Verma has been asked to hold an inquiry in the matter, PTI reported.
Taking to Twitter on Saturday, Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren said he was 'shocked' to hear about the tragedy.
He wrote in Hindi, "Shocked to hear about the death of seven girls due to drowning during 'Karam dali' (branch of Karam tree) immersion at Sheregada of Latehar district. May God grant peace to the departed souls and give strength to the bereaved families to bear the loss."
The girls' bodies were sent to the Latehar district hospital, Jatashankar Choudhary, Commissioner from Palamu Range said, PTI reported.
More About the Incident
As per officials, 10 girls had gone to the pond with 'Karam Dali' for immersion, when 2 girls began drowning and cried out for help. While trying to save each other from from drowning, seven girls drowned in the deep end while three managed to survive and are currently under treatment, PTI reported.
Those who died included three sisters - Rekha Kumar, Reena Kumari, and Lakshmi Kumar – as well as Sushma Kumari, Pinky Kumari, Sunita Kumari, and Basanti Kumar. All seven went to local schools and colleges.
The villagers said, "Four girls died on the spot while three others breathed their last on way to Balumath CHC."
Villagers and district officials had reached the site of drowning after the commotion.
Further, a Latehar official told PTI that help will be provided to the tragedy-stricken families, while Member of Parliament from Latehar, Sunil Singh expressed deep shock over the incident.
(With inputs from PTI)
. Read more on India by The Quint.'Arbitrary Modification': 130 Teachers Write to DU Dept Head on Syllabus ChangesJharkhand: 7 Girls Drown In Pond Amid Festival, CM Hemant Soren Expresses Shock . Read more on India by The Quint.