A pall of gloom descended on Kalyanamedu hamlet in Menalur village near Uthiramerur in Kancheepuram district, after three children belonging to the same family drowned in a pit filled with rain water, on Thursday.
Police said Latha (13), Geetha (11) and Thirumalai (4), children of Nagaraj, a farmer, and Sivakami, went to take a dip in the village tank before going to school, when the incident occurred. The three had left their clothes on the tank bund and entered the pit which was dug for desilting the tank.
As Thirumalai slipped, his two sisters panicked and jumped after him in a bid to rescue him.
Villagers, who were standing on the road which was quite a distance away from the spot, saw the commotion and rushed to the spot. Sensing trouble, they jumped into the pit and tried to reach for the children. However, the kids by then had got stuck in the slush and drowned. Their bodies were later fished out. The parents of the children, who were alerted, rushed to the spot and took the bodies to their house, where they began to make arrangements for the funeral. In the meantime, an informer alerted the Kancheepuram Revenue Department and the police, following which Uthiramerur tahsildar Savitha and Police Inspector Rajendra Prasad went to the village and spoke to the residents.
They then convinced the family to hand over the bodies for postmortem after apprising them of the legal implications.
After close to two hours of talks, the villagers allowed the police to move the bodies to the Chengalpattu Government Hospital for postmortem. The bodies were handed over to the family in the evening. A case was registered.