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Subadh Kumar Nayak

Rayagada: On a day when people were busy celebrating Kartik Purnima, two youths died in two separate incidents of drowning while performing the Boita Bandana rituals in Rayagada district on Tuesday.

One Suman Behera, a student of Utkal Gourav Madhusudan Institute of Technology (UGMIT), Rayagada, was swept away by water after he accidentally slipped and fell into Nagabali river where he had gone to perform the Boita Bandana rituals along with his friends.

On being informed about the mishap, a team of fire personnel rushed to the spot and fished out Suman’s body from the river.

“Four of us had gone to the Nagabali river to sail the paper boats. Suman lost balance after he stepped on algae covered stones and fell into the river while we were returning after performing the rituals,” informed Syam Sundar Sahu, Suman’s friend.

“When we alerted, some fire personnel came and recovered his body,” he added.

Another youth identified as Santosh Jena of Gumuda village drowned in Bansadhara river while he was taking a bath after performing the Boita Bandana rituals with his family members. He was rescued by the fire officials, however, breathed his last on his way to Gunupur hospital.

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