Video Editor: Shohini Bose
Whenever a tragedy occurs, a hero emerges, and in the case of the Mal River flash floods in West Bengal’s Jalpaiguri district, it was Mohammad Manik.
Manik was seen on video risking his life and jumping into the river to save people from being swept away in the flash floods that occurred on the evening of Wednesday, 5 October during the Durga idol immersions. He managed to save 10 people out which three were children and three were women.
Eight people died and at least 13 were injured in the flash floods. Official sources told The Quint that there were at least 1000 people present at the banks of the river when the water level started rising around 8:30 pm. At that time, several people had crossed the river to the other side. As the water level rose suddenly, many tried to rush to the main bank of the river. It was in this rush that several people were swept away by the current.
Manik, who hails from Jalpaiguri’s Tehshimla was at the ghat to watch the immersions like he does every year. When he saw people being washed away in the floods, he immediately passed his phone and wallet to his friend and jumped about 15 feet into the river from the elevated platform where he was standing.
When I heard the screams of people, I didn’t stop to think. I just jumped into the river and started rescuing people one by one.Mohammad Manik
He tells The Quint that he would have saved more people if he had not injured his leg while rescuing them.
Post his injury he was taken to the Malbazar super speciality hospital where he was discharged after first aid.
A practising Muslim, Manik says he goes to watch Durga immersions every year.
He is now being hailed as the hero of the village.