SAMBALPUR: Bodies of two minor children, missing since Sunday, were found floating in Haradjoar Nullah here on Tuesday morning. The boys are Sahil Khan and Fardeen Khan, both 12 years of age, and residents of Sunapali area in the city.
Soon after the bodies were retrieved, people of Sunapali blocked the busy Mumbai-Kolkata NH-6, passing near Dhankauda, for more than three hours. They accused the police of negligence and held them responsible for the death of the children. Owing to the agitation, hundreds of vehicles were stranded on both sides of the NH. The irate mob also pelted stones on the vehicles and damaged a police van, besides roughing up some mediapersons who were at the spot to cover the story.
Sources said the children had left their homes for playing on Sunday morning but did not return. Although their family members searched for them, they could not find the boys and registered missing complaints at Dhanupali police station in the evening.
Family members said they suspect that their children might have been murdered and their bodies thrown into the nullah. Although one among the boys was carrying a mobile, police did not try to ascertain the location or get the call details, they alleged.
The road blockade was withdrawn after Sambalpur SP Akhilesvar Singh reached the spot and pacified the mob. He said three police teams had been formed to find out the circumstances under which the boys died. He assured the protesters that a probe will be conducted into the incident.
Singh said that the cause of the death can be ascertained only after the autopsy report is received. However, prima facie it appears that the two children drowned and died due to asphyxia. He added that action would be initiated against those who pelted stones on the police vehicle.