The body of Sanath Shetty (20), who was missing since the landslip at Bangarapalke water falls of Malavanthige village in Belthangady taluk in Dakshina Kannada on January 25, was found on Tuesday evening.
The police said that the body was stuck between two boulders at the base of the falls. A team of Belthangady Police led by Police Inspector Sandesh P.G. and a team each of volunteers led by activist Mahesh Shetty Thimarody and Malavanthige Panchayat member Prakash Kumar were involved in the search operation on Tuesday.
Sanath Shetty was among the group of youths who had come from Ujire to see the falls. As Shetty was trying to reach atop the falls, there was a landslip and he went missing later.
With the spot in the Kudremukh National Park being inaccessible, it was challenging for the district administration to conduct the rescue operation. Apart from the police and the local team members, 25 personnel from the Karnataka Fire and Emergency Services and State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) were involved in the rescue operation.
District Fire Officer Bharath Kumar, who was involved in the operation since day one, said that for the first nine days the rescue personnel manually dug up probable places and slushed the debris using portable water pump. Other earth (debris) removing devices were used later. The 25 personnel of the Fire and Emergency Services worked on rotation.
“As our search did not yield any result, we (the Firemen and SDRF personnel) wounded up our operation on the 18th day (on February 11) following a visit of Deputy Commissioner K.V. Rajendra,” said Mr. Bharath, who was involved in the search since January 26.
The police continued the search with the help of volunteers. Residents of seven Malekudiya tribal families in the vicinity arranged food for the personnel involved in the search operation from day one. Apart from providing a team of volunteers, Mr. Prakash arranged for four-wheel drive vans for the rescue personnel to reach the spot from Didupe village of Malavanthige Gram Panchayat and from Samse village of Chikkamagaluru district.
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