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20 Jul 2018

Police ban bathing in Dooars rivers

TT, Jalpaiguri: The Jalpaiguri district police have imposed a ban on bathing in rivers and streams which flow through tourist destinations in the Dooars after a youth was feared drowned in the Murti early this month.

On July 10, a 34-year-old youth of Jalpaiguri had feared drowned in the Murti river. He had visited the tourist spot with his friends.

Superintendent of Jalpaiguri police Amitabha Maiti said: "We have imposed a ban on bathing in the Murti and some other rivers and streams which descend from the hills and move through tourist spots in the Dooars. During monsoons, water level rises in these rivers and it is unsafe for the people to bathe in it."

"All the police stations have been informed about the decision and have been asked to keep a check on whether the people are bathing at any of these water bodies," the SP added.

Sources said Bappa Saha, who drowned in Murti on July 10, is yet to be traced.

At Murti, Ramsai and Dhupjhora, common tourist spots in Western Dooars on the bank of Murti river, the police have decide to post civic volunteers and also start patrolling using motorcycles.

"Those visiting the tourists spots will be alerted by civic volunteers. They will be informed about the sudden rise in water levels due to rainfall that makes the rivers precarious. Local people will also be stopped from getting into the rivers. Our men will be moving around these areas in motorcycles to keep a tab of the situation," said Debasish Chakraborty, the subdivisional police officer of Malbazar.

The Murti flows through the Gorumara National Park.

On Thursday, a team of policemen and civil defence volunteers, including Chakraborty, moved along the river in a raft to find out the missing youth. "We will continue the search. The restrictions have been made to prevent such incidents," the Chakraborty said.

The incident has also put stakeholders of the tourism industry on alert.

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