Srikakulam: Despite the increasing number of COVID-19 cases, people came out of their homes in hordes to celebrate Holi on 29 March. But the festival ended in a tragedy after four youths died in separate incidents in Srikakulam and Vizianagaram districts.

In the first incident that took place in Srikakulam, a group of eight persons from Uttar Pradesh went for a swim in the sea at Kalingapatnam under Gara mandal when three of them drowned.

They have been identified as Sandeep, Ashish and Chotu. All were 18 years old. The local police said the group came to the beach after celebrating Holi. The cops denied the youngsters entry to the beach saying that it was dangerous but they managed to enter by evading the police.

While two were caught in a strong current that took them deep into the sea, another youngster jumped into the waters to rescue them. He too was dragged away

The police said that all of them were from Uttar Pradesh and had come to Srikakulam a few weeks ago in search of employment.

In another incident in Vizianagaram, a group of nine youngsters went to Jami village to swim under the waterfalls after Holi celebrations. A 24-year-old man, M. Madhukumar, slipped into the stream and was washed away. His friends tried to save him but in vain. Madhu belongs to Boggula Dibba area of Vizianagaram city and worked in a mobile shop. The police launched a search for the youngster.

In Visakhapatnam city, thousands of youngsters were seen on Beach Road double and triple riding on their motorbikes, wishing people on their way. The traffic police had closed RK Beach from Park Hotel junction to NTR statue to prevent people from going swimming. The five-kilometre stretch was deserted for the entire day till 6 p.m. However, the revelers could be seen swimming at Coast Battery, Tenneti Park, Sagaranagar, Rushkonda, and Bhimili.

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