Published: 11th May 2018
Two boys drown in lake inside IIT Madras campus
A police officer on the spot at IIT said that four of the boys had made it safely to the banks while two got stuck in the slush
Two youths drowned in a lake on the campus of the Indian Institute of Technology-Madras (IIT-M) Thursday afternoon. Police said they were among six youngsters who allegedly jumped over the campus walls to take a dip in the lake.
A police officer on the spot at IIT said that four of the boys had made it safely to the banks while two got stuck in the slush. The body of 18-year-old R Gerald, was recovered and sent to the government hospital at Royapettah, while police were still searching for the body of 17-year-old R Murthy. Gerald was in his second year of a diploma course at a college near RK Nagar while Murthy was expecting his board exam results.
Gerald’s mother Shanti was in shock on hearing her son had died, describing him as quiet. She wasn’t sure if he even knew how to swim. “Even when we went to Velankani, he just sat by the shore splashing water at us,” she recalled. She said had received a call from a person, who introduced himself as Prashant, while at work on Thursday afternoon. “This boy called me and said that my son had drowned and that I had to return home. He asked me to stay strong,” she said.
“Gerald had told his brother he was going swimming,” she said, adding the family had no idea he was going to swim in the lake. His friends had allegedly told her that the boys had used an emergency lifeboat stationed near the lake to sail in.
“They told me that the boat capsized. One of the boys knew how to swim and he’d rescued three of them when my son and another boy got stuck in the muddy areas,” said Shanti, the mother of Gerald, one of two youths who had drowned in a lake on the IIT-M campus on Thursday.
She claimed that Gerald had never entered IIT before. She added that the other boys, who usually snuck into the campus, had decided to take her son along this time. “He was extremely studious and very polite with elders. He never came across as the kind of boy who would jump over a wall,” said one of Murthy’s neighbours who didn’t want to be identified.
One of the survivor's family said that he was in a state of shock. “He’s been silent the whole evening and hasn’t said a word even to us,” his father said. The police are yet to identify the other survivors.
IIT-M’s spokesperson said that the institute’s management was in no way related to the drowning. “We have no comments since we have no information or involvement from our side,” the spokesperson said.