Two boys, aged 12 and 8, drowned in Devasandra lake, near K.R. Puram, here Wednesday.

Venkatesh and Darshan, and the latter’s younger brother, Jagadish (5), were playing near the lake from which silt was being removed.

“Jagadish told us the three tried getting into the water but were shooed away by a labourer. However, they went to the other end. While Jagadish stayed back, Darshan and Venkatesh went in and could not come out,” wept Ram Babu, Darshan’s father who is an autorickshaw driver.

Seeing his playmates drown, Jagadish ran to tell his mother. However, he didn’t see her near the market where she worked as a domestic help, and was taken to his house by a neighbour where he waited for his mother to return.

The children’s deaths could have been avoided had they been in school. While poverty was a contributing factor in Darshan’s case (his father could not afford to pay the Rs. 24,000 fees for his sons), Venkatesh was yet to return to his hometown. The Class 6 student, the only child of manual labourers Nagaraj and Nagamma, was spending his holidays in his aunt’s house at Bachappa Layout in Devasandra.

The bodies were recovered later in the day.

The Devasandra lake had dried up in the summer and hence authorities were removing the silt.

However, the recent rain had partially filled it.

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