Mystery surrounds the death of a 20-year-old bride at Gokak Falls across the Ghataprabha (a tributary of the Krishna) under the Gokak Town Police Station limits in Gokak taluk on Thursday evening.
Shafeena, who was married to Irshad Khandunaik of Munavalli of Saundatti taluk of Belagavi district only four months ago, had spent four days at her house in Hullolihatti of Hukkeri taluk, and was, along with her husband, returning to Munavalli. She, however, insisted that they visit Gokak Falls on the way.
Gokak Town Police Station Sub-Inspector of Police Basangouda Patil, quoting Irshad as saying, said that Shafeena and Irshad had moved too close to the edge of the waterfalls and Shafeena, while taking a selfie photo from a mobile phone, fell due to a sudden burst of strong wind the pressure of which she could not withstand. The body was recovered with the help of native trekkers late in the night.
As the hanging rope-way across the waterfalls is closed to public, many visitors walk into the red sandstone cliff for thrill and to get a feel of the roaring sound of the waterfalls, which is likened to the famous Niagara Falls for its picturesque shape.
Shafeena and Irshad, who also walked into the bed of the river, maintained a safe distance from the gushing water of the river but were close to the edge of the cliff.
He said that a case of unnatural death has been registered. However, since the death had come within seven years of Shafeena’s marriage, the Tahsildar and Taluk Executive Magistrate would conduct an inquest, even as no complaint has been registered by the family members of the deceased.Risky effort
It took nearly two hours for an 11-member team of young trekkers led by adventurist Ayub Khan to retrieve the body from the slippery cliff.
As the police and Fire and Emergency Services personnel, who rushed to the spot on receipt of information at around 6.30 p.m., were not trained to trek through a risky cliff, Ayub Khan was called at around 8.20 p.m.
Ayub Khan said that he immediately rushed to the spot after asking his team members to reach the spot.
After taking a quick view of the situation, he and Nagaraj started descending down the cliff with the help of trekking ropes.
After reaching a small platform along the cliff where the body lay hanging, with Shafeena’s mobile phone still clinging to her palm, he checked to see if she was alive but in vain.
Then, the two tied the body with ropes and Mr. Patil and his staff, and the Fire and Emergency Services personnel pulled it to the surface.