MAHENDRANAGAR, July 20: 36 people of a funeral procession were rescued by police in Kanchanpur district after they were standed between Mahakali river and its distributory for several hours Thursday by fast rising river levels.
The stranded mourners were rescued by a team sent by the District Police Office of Kanchanpur on Thursday evening. The police team headed by DSP Birkha Bahadur Rawal reached the river at around 5 p.m. with rubber tubes, ropes and life jackets. The rescued mourners managed to reach their home late in the evening.
Around 75 locals were participating in the funeral of a woman of Suda VDC-5 of Kanchanpur district. They reached the major watercourse of the Mahakali River by crossing a distributory stream. As Indian officials closed the door of Sarada barrage after the water level rose in the Mahakali River, the distributory stream also swelled, making it impossible for the mourners to get back.
“Some people managed to get back before it became impossible to cross the river,” said Prakash Chanda, one of the rescued mourners. “We could not cross the stream. We saved our lives by climbing a little mound.”
According to Chanda, the water level in the distributory stream was very low when the funeral began. “It rose so quickly that we could not escape,” he says.
The India government has channeled the water of the Mahakali River through the Sarada barrage to irrigate its land in Uttar Pradesh. The Indian officials close and open the doors of the barrage as per its needs without informing Nepali officials, often causing trouble to Nepali people.