Hyderabad, March 15: Ten Holi revellers drowned after festivities in the city, and 13 elsewhere in the State, making this year’s festival one of the deadliest in recent times. In the worst incident, four youth of Manuguru in Khammam district drowned in the Godavari. Police said Mahesh, Satyanrayana, Kumar and Kiran were below 18 years of age. In Kurnool, four children were washed away in K-C Canal. The bodies of 15-year-olds Altaf and Nazir from Lakshminagar, and Roja, 12 and Yashoda, 10, from Swamireddinagar are yet to be traced.
In the city, there was no police guard at the lakes. Asked about it, a senior city police officer said, “Most of the people who celebrated Holi were in an inebriated condition. They consume bhang and totally lose their senses,” He added: “One day prior to the festival we closed liquor shops, but the people consumed bhang.”
A senior officer of Cyberabad police said, “We have done what ever is possible but in all the cases the deaths due to drowning are due to sheer negligence of the victims,” he said. “Before the festival we had strictly warned the villagers not to go for a swim in a drunken state. But it is not possible to guard the lake due to shortage of staff.”
Among the 10 dead in the city were 19-year-olds K. Ravi and G. Venkatesh of Addaguta who drowned in Kesargutta lake on Wednesday morning. Assistant commissioner of police G.L. Hari Chander said they had jumped into the 10-feet deep lake and got entangled in the weeds. Villagers had warned them of the weeds, Mr Hari Chander said.
* Painter M. Sailu, 25, of Viveknandanagar drowned in Durgam Cheruvu in Jubilee Hills while swimming with friends Mallesh and Ramaiah. Police is investigating.
* M Sunil, 18, of Khanamet drowned in the local lake. Madhapur police said he did not know swimming.
* A. Srikanth, 16, and Laxman, 45, of Vinayaknagar of Pet Basheerabad drowned in Vennalagadda lake. Pet Basheerabad assistant sub-inspector Lohit Reddy said that the bodies would be fished out on Thursday.
* An unidentified 20-year-old man drowned in Palle Chervu lake in Milardevpally, Rajendranagar.
* M. Shekar, 23, of Jayanagar drowned in the local lake on Tuesday evening after playing Holi. Kukatpally police said he did not know swimming.
* M. Prasad, 23, drowned in a Shapur lake. Jeedimetla police said he had gone swimming alone after Holi.
* Class 9 student G. Bhargav, 15, drowned at the 30-feet-deep Katta Maisamma lake in Kukatpally. His friend M. Sandeep said.
“Bhargav had learnt swimming recently,” Sandeep said. “They were playing Holi till 4 pm and I had asked Bhargav to come inside but he said he wanted to go to the lake,” Bhargav’s mother said