A sudden rise in the water level in the Kulick and Nagar rivers in Raiganj in North Dinajpur district last night has led to several villages being flooded, while hundreds of villagers have been rendered homeless. The villagers have taken shelter in different relief camps and on the embankments in the region, it is learnt. On the other hand, a floating body of a newborn baby sparked panic near Shaktinagar in Raiganj this morning.

The affected villages on the banks of the Kulick river have been identified as Anantapur, Dubduar, Nimtala, Goaldaha, Rahamatpur, Vitihar, Nayatuli, and Palpara in Subashganj, and Dweepnagar in Raiganj.

“The embankment burst, given the flood and the strong current of water,” sources said.

On the other hand, some villages, including Bahin, Tangra, Godahar and Bariol, were flooded with waters that came from the Nagar river. At the same time, waters from the Sui and Mahananda rivers in Itahar have inundated some agricultural land.

“Local people at Shaktinagar in Raiganj were panic stricken after they found the body of a baby floating on the river. They immediately informed the police, who reached the spot and recovered it. The residents believe that the body came floating from some other place and not necessarily Raiganj,” local sources said. Police officers said that they have started investigations into the incident. Water from the Kulick river also entered Shaktinagar village in the morning, prompting a section of the local people to take shelter on the embankments there.

According to a source at the district administration, though the rain had stopped two days ago, the rivers were flooded with waters that came from the Bihar and Nepal areas and which flooded the Mahananda, Nagar and Kulick rivers in the Bengal part. Raiganj Block Development Officer Raju Lama said that some villages were affected due to the sudden floods in the Kulick and Nagar rivers.

“A section of the people has taken shelter in relief camps at Vitihar and Bahin. The situation is still under our control. We are keeping a watch on the situation with boats and relief materials. We are ready to tackle any eventuality and emergency. We have already started distributing relief materials, including dry food, among the affected people at some areas,” Mr Lama said