Another Hyderabadi youth dies mysteriously at Goa’s Sunburn Klassique

Panaji: Yet another Hyderabad youth lost his life while partying at the three-day Sunburn Klassique at Goa. This death brings the total number of deaths at the electronic dance music festival to three in as many days. The incident comes just days after two men from the Telugu states died at the venue under suspicious circumstances.

According to Goa police, 24-year-old automobile engineer Phanideep Khota fell unconscious at 9:30 pm while dancing on Sunday at the venue on the last day of the festival. The revellers reported that Khota’s friends took him to a first-aid centre set up by the event organisers.

When medical attendants found Khota unresponsive, they decided to shift him to a private hospital at Vagator. Due to a traffic jam caused by haphazard parking and lakhs of partygoers, it took them 30 minutes to cover 2 km to reach the hospital, where the doctors declared him brought dead.

Khota worked as a sales executive in Bengaluru but hailed from Hyderabad. Goa police said that Khota had arrived in Goa along with five other friends on December 28 to ring in the New Year. He stayed at a guesthouse in Calangute, a hotspot for domestic tourists.

Doctors at Goa Medical College (GMC) conducted the post mortem on Monday but once again decided not to specify the cause of death. “Cause of death is reserved pending the report of chemical analysis of the viscera,” said a doctor at GMC. After the post mortem, Khota’s body was handed over to his family for final rites. Police added that they are waiting for the viscera report to confirm the cause of death in all three cases.

The death of a third person at Sunburn Klassique evoked a sharp reaction from Congress and Goa Forward Party (GFP), demanding that Central Bureau of Investigation should conduct an inquiry. “The government is responsible for the deaths of three youngsters over the last two days,” said GFP vice president Durgadas Kamat.

GFP’s Siolim MLA Vinod Paliencar had warned about drugs being available at music festivals and rave parties. The deaths of three men have once again brought the spotlight on the use of drugs and other illicit substances.

On the first day of Sunburn, two youths died while standing in a queue to attend Sunburn Klassique on December 27. Police said that both tourists — IT engineer Sai Prasad (32) of Hyderabad and Visakhapatnam-based businessperson Venkat (31) — were in Goa to attend the festival. The Congress party has demanded an SIT investigation headed by a retired High Court judge.

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