Selfie Craze At 170Ft Height Again Takes Another Life


Bengaluru: A 35-year-old man has died after falling from a 170ft high waterfall in southern India while trying to pose for a social media photo.

Video shows Ramjan Usman Kagji, from nearby Ghatprabha, climbing down the cliff face of the famous Gokak waterfalls, a popular tourist destination in the Belagavi district of Karnataka state.

He is seen making his way down towards a ledge, when he suddenly slips and falls, allegedly after his friends told him to move so they could get a better angle.

Kagji and his friends had reportedly turned up at the well-known beauty spot ‘heavily drunk’ on Saturday afternoon, and had been performing stunts near the edge despite being warned of the danger.

Eyewitnesses said Kagji had begun climbing down the cliff face towards the waterfall in order to pose for a picture.

‘The man was doing the stunts as his accomplices kept shooting his dare-devilry,’ witness Shivaji Kokate said.

‘I could see from their hand gestures that his friends were prodding him to change pose, as they wanted to capture his act on the phone and later upload on social media.

‘After the accident, when we rushed near the spot from where fell off, we overheard his friends saying: “He wouldn’t have lost his life if we hadn’t prodded for a better angle”.

Another witness said: ‘We spotted him going near the edge. We cautioned him against this misadventure, but he wouldn’t listen.’

The brief footage shows Kagji losing his footing and falling, while tourists can be heard screaming in the background.

Local authorities have been searching for the man’s body, but his remains are yet to be found.

A senior police officer said: ‘The incident happened on Saturday between 3pm to 4pm and since then, we have been searching for the victim’s body. The water is very deep that is why we haven’t been able to fish out the body yet.’

The police officer added: ‘Whether the victim was under the influence of alcohol or not can be said only after the body is found. As of now, we can’t say anything.’

Following the incident, police have tightened the security at the waterfall to prevent visitors from going near it.

The Gokak Falls are a tourist destination, but have also become known as a suicide spot.
In the past five years, 19 people have died at the Gokak Falls, either by suicide or in accidents, New Indian Express reports.