New Delhi: Chanchal Lahiri, a 40-year-old magician, who went missing while performing tricks like legendary magician of escape games Harry Houdini is feared drowned. In 2013, Lahiri, a resident of southern suburbs of Kolkata, had done the same trick in same Hoogly river. Also Read - Man Arrested For Rape And Acid Attack Threats to Dil Bechara Actor Swastika Mukherjee

Eye witnesses said that Lahiri went inside the river from Kolkata’s Millenium Park, with the intention to mesmerise people with his magic but disappeared near pillar number 28 of the Howrah Bridge. Also Read - Coronavirus in West Bengal: Kolkata Police Seeks to Use Eden Gardens as Quarantine Centre For Its Personnel

An onlooker said that the magician took a ferry from Fairly Place Ghat at around noon and jumped near the pillar number 28 to perform the stunt. “The magic that Lahiri was to perform was very risky and complicated,” he asserted. Also Read - Kolkata Police Spreads Cheer Amid COVID-19 Gloom, Sings 'We Shall Overcome' For Citizens in 'Roadside Concert'

He was not only to be blindfolded, but his hands and legs were also to be tied up. He was to be picked up in that position from the boat by a crane, stationed on the Howrah Bridge, that would in turn lower him into the river. The magic was that he would come up from water, by untying himself on his own.

Accordingly, he went to the middle of the river just underneath the bridge from where he was picked up by the crane and thrown into the river near pillar number 28 of the bridge. The spectators waiting there and cheering him for his act started to panic as it was more than ten minutes and Lahiri was not coming out of water.

Policemen, along with Disaster Management Group rushed to the spot and began search for Lahiri following calls by some of the spectators. “We have started an investigation as to how a crane reached the Howrah Bridge and who gave him permission for the magic show.

“We tried to spot him. But it seems the stream has swept him away. Our divers dived deep, but could not locate him,” a senior police officer told news agency PTI.

Lahiri had taken permission from both Kolkata Police and the Kolkata Port Trust, police said.

(With inputs from agencies)