Two 13-year-old boys,Prem and Bittu,drowned in Tungwali minor distributary near Lehra Mohabbat today. One of them reportedly slipped while trying to pick a floating coconut from the water,and the other died trying to save him.
Bittus 11-year-old brother Shingara,who was accompanying them,also jumped into the water,said a police official,adding that he was safely taken out after a person working nearby reached the spot on hearing their cries.
The children,who come from poor families,were returning home after picking leftover potatoes from the fields and spotted bananas and coconut floating along the bank of the distributary. Before leaving home,Prem had said he would buy books with the money earned from selling potatoes, Lehra Mohabbat sarpanch Jaspal Singh said while quoting deceased’s mother. They used a stick to pick a bunch of bananas from the distributary. In the meantime,they also spotted the coconut, said Jaspal. The bags containing potatoes were found near the bank.
The body of one of the victim was taken out by the villagers using a volleyball net and of the other was found on an inclined surface of the distributary at a distance from the mishap site.
Bathinda SSP Ashish Chaudhry said inquest proceedings under Section 174 of the Criminal Procedure Code have begun.