07/02/2012 07:02 pm ET

Man Drowns Trying To Get Floating Rupees In Indian Lake

A man has drowned in eastern India after jumping into a lake hoping to catch money floating on the surface.

The man, who police say was in his early 20s, dived into the Silsako Beel near Guwahati last Tuesday along with others to grab various denominations of rupees notes that found their way into the wetland area, reported.

Locals on the scene said the man, whose name was not released, was probably not a good swimmer and drowned.

Following the incident, the district administration issued strict orders prohibiting anyone from entering the water body.

Eyewitnesses say the rupees floating on the water were Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 denomination notes, which are worth around $9 and $18.

"It has never happened before. I have seen the currency notes and they seem genuine," Dipankar Baruah, a resident, ttold the Economic Times, adding that some people managed to collect several thousand rupees.

Police had their hands full trying to take back the cask and verify its authenticity.

"We have collected some and contacted the Reserve Bank of India in Guwahati to verify if they are genuine," Senior Superintendent of Police Apurba Jiban Baruah said told the Economic Times.

"We are trying to find out from where the currency notes came. It will take some time," said the official.