Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Kumbh Super-Cop: He Jumped 20 Feet Into the River to Save a Life

A devotee attending the Kumbh Mela in Nashik in Maharashtra tried to kill himself by jumping off a bridge into the waters of the River Godavari below.

A 24-year-old policeman on duty, Manoj Barahate, dove right in after him and saved the stranger's life. His act of bravery was caught on security cameras.

On Twitter, Praveen Gedam, the top official of the local corporation, said the police office had jumped off "a 20-feet-high bridge".

The Kumbh Mela -- a celebration of faith in which Hindus bathe in a sacred river -- is held every third year and is rotated between four holy sites.

It is held at Nashik every 12 years and, although it isn't on the same scale as the editions on the Ganga at Haridwar and the Sangam at Allahabad, it still draws millions of pilgrims.

Thirty-nine pilgrims were trampled to death and dozens injured when the religious festival was last held by the Godavari river in Nashik, around 100 miles northeast of Mumbai, in 2003. Local officials say they have made meticulous arrangements to ensure the safety of pilgrims this year.

Mr Gedam, as an example, tweeted a picture of policemen standing in the water forming a human chain to ensure more pilgrims didn't enter the river till the incumbents had finished offering their prayers and vacated the ghat or steps where the  devotees enter the water.

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