Students fail to notice friend drowning in the background of their selfie

WARNING, DISTRESSING CONTENT: A student has tragically drowned in a pond - and his friends only noticed he was missing when they saw him struggling in the water in the background of a selfie.

The dead teenager, named only as Vishwas G., 17, was enjoying a picnic with fellow students from the National College in the city of Bangalore in south-western India's Karnataka state.

They went for a swim in the pond, during a college trip to a temple at Ravagondlu Betta, near Kanakapura, where Vishwas got into difficulties, unnoticed by his friends.

The teenager was taking a selfie with friends before coming into difficulty in the water. Source: Australscope

They continued laughing and posing for selfies in the water - not noticing that their friend had gone under the water behind them.

His grieving family later sat with his body outside the National College, in the Jayanagar area of Bangalore, in protest at his death.

They claimed lecturers in charge of the trip had been negligent but called off the action after management promised an investigation and disciplinary action against any member of staff found to be culpable.

Police confirmed that Vishwas G., the elder son of autorickshaw driver Govindaraju and his wife Sunanda, drowned in a 300-year-old temple tank.

Sumanth A., one of the students, said: "We had finished swimming and left for the Gundanjaneya temple and did not notice Vishwas's absence.

"One of the students was replaying his selfie photos and noticed Vishwas drowning being captured in the frame.

Friends of Vishwas G. failed to notice him sink under the water as they concentrated on taking a selfie. Source: Australscope

"He immediately alerted the NCC unit chief, Prof Girish, and other friends, and by the time they returned to the Kalyani, an hour had passed. Vishwas was nowhere to be seen."

Police said Prof Girish was present at the time but college authorities claimed that no faculty member had accompanied the students.

Local police officers later pulled Vishwas's body from the tanks and his parents rushed to the scene after they were alerted by his friends.

Ramanagara district SP Ramesh Banoth said: "The students came to the spot with Professor Girish, NCC in-charge, and the incident happened when the students taking selfies."

Kaggalipura police said around 25 students, all NCC cadets from the Jayanagar college, had been on the trip.

They disregarded a sign warning people against entering the water and "plunged in", a police officer said.

A police spokesman said: "Govindappa filed a complaint alleging that negligence by the National College management cost his son his life.

"We registered a case of unnatural death, based on the complaint, and may register a case against the college management if a probe confirms their negligence."

The spokesman added that police had not yet questioned the other students, as they had been in shock, but had their details and would do so in due course.