Ranchi/Medininagar, Nov 19 (PTI) Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren was among lakhs of devotees who offered tributes to the setting sun as part of Chhath festivities on Sunday.
However, a tragedy was also reported as a 23-year-old man drowned while bathing in Kharkhai River in Seraikela-Kharswan district after cleaning a ghat for Chhath. The CM, along with his wife Kalpana Soren, offered 'Arghya' along with other devotees at Hatnia pond in the state capital Ranchi.
Extending best wishes to people on the occasion, Soren, while speaking to reporters, said, "The local administrations have been carrying out preparations for Chhath." He also wished luck to the Indian cricket team for its World Cup final match with Australia. Governor C P Radhakrishnan also greeted people on Chhath and posted on X, "May this holy festival bring happiness, peace and prosperity in everyone's life." The four-day Chhath festival began with the 'Nahai Khai' ritual on Friday and will conclude with the offering of 'Arghya' to the rising sun on Monday.
Lakhs of devotees offered tributes to the setting sun at ponds, reservoirs and lakes. The water bodies were cleaned for the occasion. In Ranchi city alone, 72 water bodies were cleaned, a civic official said.
Security forces and NDRF teams were deployed in vulnerable water bodies for the Chhath festivities.
"Three NDRF teams were deployed in Kanke Dam, Bada Talab and Dhurwa Dam in Ranchi and one in Deoghar," NDRF inspector Ravi Kant told PTI.
Drones, CCTV cameras and motorcycle patrols also kept vigil to prevent any untoward incident, police said.
Ranchi's Additional District Magistrate (Law and Order) Rajeshwar Nath Alok said adequate security arrangements were ensured at all Chhath ghats in the city.
Another official said danger zones have been marked where water level is high.
The entry of heavy vehicles was prohibited to Ranchi from 8 am to 11 pm on Sunday and 2 am to 10 pm on Monday, an official statement said. In Palamu, around 50,000 devotees offered tributes to the setting sun at Koyal River, with Chhatarpur legislator Pushpa Devi and Palamu Superintendent of Police Reshma Rameshan among those performing Chhath rituals.
Meanwhile, a 23-year-old man died while bathing in Kharkhai River in Seraikela-Kharswan district on Saturday, police said.
The incident took place when Kundan Shukla, along with three of his friends, took a plunge into the river for a bath after cleaning Kuluptanga Chhath Ghat for the festivities, a police officer said.
Local divers brought him out and he was sent to a hospital in Jamshedpur, where doctors declared him brought dead, he said, adding the body has been sent for post-mortem examination. PTI SAN COR BS SAN ACD