<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Even as devotees bid farewell to Chhathi Maiyan with arghya to the rising sun on Friday, the festivities turned tragic at several places with at least 17 people reported to have drowned in separate incidents across the state.A maximum of four persons, including two women, drowned in Bhagalpur district, while performing the Chhath rituals. In Samastipur, two siblings aged 13 and 10 met their watery graves in a village pond, while an 18-year-old woman drowned in a water body in Dalsinghsarai.In Bihar’s Banka district, three persons, including a six-year-old boy, drowned during the Chhath arghya, whereas two persons died in Araria district. Drowning deaths were also reported from Madhepura, Arwal, Muzaffarpur, Sitamarhi and Vaishali districts. A boat also capsized in Munger district though no one was injured in that incident. A senior official said the compensation will be given to the kin of victims as per the government rules.Earlier, a day before the Chhath Mahaparv commenced with ‘Nahai Khai’, four women, who were on the way to perform pre-Chhath rituals, were run down by a train in Bhagalpur.According to figures furnished by the state disaster management department officials, last year 47 deaths had occurred only due to drowning during Chhath in Bihar. “The experience of previous years show that drowning events on Chhath ghats occur after the morning arghya, when administrative arrangements become somewhat relaxed. Hence, we need to remain more watchful,” said a senior official of the department.Lakhs of devotees re-assembled at the Chhath ghats on Friday morning and offered their obeisance to the ‘Udeeyaman’ (rising) sun to conclude the rituals.PRAYERS FOR PEACEChief Minister Nitish Kumar performed the arghya at his residence and said he prayed for peace and prosperity for the people of Bihar and India.