THOOTHUKUDI: Two persons were asphyxiated while digging a pit below 40 feet from the surface for "treasure hunt" predicted by a magician at Nazareth. According to police, the deceased have been identified as Ragupathy alias Lakshamanaperumal (47) of Alwarthirunagari and Nirmal Ganapathy (18) of Pannambarai.
Sources said that M Sivamalai (40), a Hindu Munnani town treasurer, was told that he has treasure under his house by a local magician. Sivamalai, along with his brother M Sivavelan (37), and Ragupathy and Nirmal, began digging since last September. They dug nearly 40 feet, completely hiding it from the public for the last six months, sources added.
On the occasion of full moon during Panguni Uthiram, the four went into the pit and performed pooja after pumping out water that was collected in the pit. Later, Ruba, wife of Sivavelan, went into the pit with the help of a ladder to give water to the diggers. However, she found all the four lying faint inside the pit. Nazareth police rushed to the spot, and shifted the four to Tirunelveli Medical College Hospital. While Ragupathy and Nirmal died in the hospital, the two others are undergoing treatment.