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53 People drown during Hindu Festival in India



No fewer than 53 people were drowned in India’s eastern state of Bihar during the four-day Hindu festival, Chhath Puja, local media reported on Wednesday.

The drownings have taken place in rivers and other water bodies across various districts of the state during the four-day festival.

“As many as 53 people drowned in rivers and other water bodies in various parts of Bihar during the four-day Chhath festivities”, a local media quoted a disaster management official as saying.

“At least ,18 people died in the state on October 31, the last day of the festival.’’

Bihar’s Chief Minister, Nitish Kumar, expressed grief over the drownings and announced a compensation of 4,833 dollars (400,000 rupees) to each victim’s family.

Kumar had directed all the district magistrates to ensure expeditious payment of compensation amount to the families of victims.

Chhath Puja begins at the end of Diwali, the Hindu festival of lights. Hindus mostly in northern and eastern India celebrate the festival by visiting water bodies and offering flowers to them.

They also take a bath to pray for protection and seek the blessing of the sun god. 

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