Less than a day after a massive search operation was launched, Devananda’s body was recovered from a lake in Kollam district on Friday.

Devanandas fathers grief shared by thousands as he identifies daughters body
news Death Friday, February 28, 2020 - 13:10

With TV cameras continuously rolling, Pradeep made his way slowly towards the Ithikkara lake just a few metres away from his house near Elavoor in Kollam district. The distraught father, who was supported by two men on either side, broke down many times during the walk. Escorted by policemen, Pradeep had to confirm whether the body recovered from the lake on Friday morning was his only child - six-year-old Devananda aka Ponnu.

Hundreds of onlookers gathered at the lake to watch the police recover the girl’s body. Many wept as they watched Pradeep being taken to his child’s lifeless body. Devananda had gone missing from her house on Thursday morning and a massive search had been launched to find her. Hundreds of people, police personnel, dog and diving squads were part of the search operations. On Friday morning, though the state’s hopes were crushed after a policeman identified the body, which was recovered from Ithikkara lake. Her father Pradeep was required to come and confirm the tragedy.

Pradeep sobbed as he was shown the body, covered in a bedsheet and kept on the banks of the lake. He had flown in from Muscat as soon as his daughter went missing. The visuals of the father breaking down were telecast live by many channels. Soon after Pradeep identified that the child was his daughter Devananda, her body was taken to the Thiruvananthapuram Medical College for a postmortem. 

On Thursday, thousands of people had shared posts on Devananda on social media. Many celebrities and film actors too had done their bit. As the state mourned the death of the child, condolences came pouring in. 

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan mourned Devananda’s death. Actor Mammootty, who had shared the Devananda missing poster a day earlier, also offered his condolences. Actor Kunjacko Bobban said that efforts by people of the state had turned futile. "Devananda bids farewell, condolences," the actor further wrote. Actor Prithviraj also extended his condolences to the family, adding, "Rest in peace little one."

Actor Aju Varghese wrote, "Prayers. May her soul rest in peace. May this be the last such incident. May we all have our eyes wide open to protect and safeguard all the children and women in our near surroundings. Sincerely hope the law and order system brings out the hands behind."

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