Six children – four girls and two boys – drowned in a pond near a village in Karnataka's Kolar Gold Fields town on Tuesday while immersing idols of Lord Ganesh, police said. The town in Kolar is located about 100 km northeast of Bengaluru on the Old Madras Road.
"The incident came to light after their parents and relatives came to the pond in search of their children. The kids had left their homes after lunch to play under the tree around the pond with the idols which were put up on September 2, when the 10-day Ganesha festival commenced," the SP said.
According to local jurisdictional police, the pond was 8 feet deep and all the children had entered the pond holding each other’s hands. Deccan Herald reported that a farmer who was nearby attempted to rescue them but failed.
"The incident occurred when the victims, aged between 8-12 years, went into the pond on the outskirts of Maradaghatta village to immerse the idols, got stuck in the mud and drowned as they did not know how to swim," KGF Superintendent of Police Mohammed Sujeetha told IANS on phone.
Two children from the same group had chosen to not go into the water body. As their friends drowned, they rushed to inform other villagers.
The victims were identified as Rakshitha, Tejaswi, Veena, Vyshnavi, Rohit and Dhanush. A case has been registered at Andersonpet Police Station.
"Fire brigade personnel rushed to the pond, retrieved the bodies and handed them over to the families after autopsy. A case of unnatural deaths was registered at the local police station," Sujeetha added.
Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa has announced an ex-gratia compensation of Rs 2 lakh for the family of the victims.