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Saturday, September 19, 2020

Man who went missing while trying to retrieve coconut from Kutch lake found dead

The state government has banned religious events and large public gatherings due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic but the police inspector said that no law was violated at the lakefront on Tuesday.

By: Express News Service | Rajkot | Updated: August 20, 2020 2:49:40 pm
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A man who went missing in Jeramsar lake in Mundra village of Kutch, while trying to retrieve a ceremonial coconut thrown into the water to win a prize on Tuesday, was found dead Wednesday afternoon. Police said that they had registered a case of accidental death but no action has been initiated against the organisers of the event.

“A team of jawans of fire brigade of Bhuj and Emergency Response Centre (ERC) of Gandhidham recovered the body of the man at around 3 pm. The body was shifted to hospital for postmortem and we have registered a case of accidental death,” BJ Bhatt, inspector of Mundra police station, said.

Police said the man, Jakir Kara (25), a native of Bedi area in Jamanagar, was working as an agricultural labourer. Kara was among three to four persons who jumped into the lake to retrieve the ceremonial coconut thrown by Mundra village sarpanch Dhamendrasinh Jesar at a ceremony organised by the village panchayat to celebrate the overflowing of Jeramsar lake after 15 years. BJP MLA from Mandvi, Virendrasinh Jadeja had presided over the ceremony that was held around 11.30 am.

The other men managed to swim back, while Kara allegedly drowned while trying to retrieve the coconut in an attempt to win a complimentary prize. A team led by the National Disaster Relief Force launched a search and rescue operation but could not save the man who drowned as dozens of people who had gathered to witness the ceremony were watching.

The inspector maintained that the Mundra village panchayat had not sought prior permission to organise the event but said there was no organiser as such. “Nobody had organised the event. It was just that people were celebrating the overflowing of the lake,” Bhatt said.

However, invitation cards of the ceremony were circulated on social media and hoardings were put up at the lakefront thanking Chief Minister Vijay Rupani and MLA Jadeja for granting the status of municipality to Mundra and Baroi village panchayats.

The state government has banned religious events and large public gatherings due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic but the police inspector said that no law was violated at the lakefront on Tuesday.

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