Worker killed while clearing blocked manhole

Worker killed  while clearing blocked manhole

A manual scavenger, who was cleaning a blocked manhole connected to the toilet of a lodge near Jaganmohan Palace here, died after being stuck there late on Sunday evening.

Since manual scavenging is banned, police arrested the manager of the lodge, his son-in-law and are on the lookout for the owner. 

The deceased, Kumar, 29, and his father Subramanya were offered Rs 300 by Bangarappa, the manager of Kalpana Lodge, to clean the blocked manhole. While Kumar went down into the 8-foot deep manhole, his father stayed put outside to be at his call. After a while, however, Kumar stopped making any sound. 

“I called him then, asking him about the condition in the drain but he didn’t respond,” said Subramanya who works as a sweeper near the lodge. 

With the help of some people, Subramanya managed to retrieve Kumar who was still breathing. He was rushed to the K R Hospital which later declared him dead. Kumar was a resident of Jyothinagar. 

Mysore City Corporation (MCC) Commissioner, P G Ramesh, denied that Kumar was a sanitation worker employed by the civic agency. The Devaraja police have arrested Bangarappa, his son-in-law Nagaraj and are in search of the owner of the lodge. 

They have been booked for negligent act leading to death under Section 304(A) of the IPC and under provisions of the Prohibition of Employment as Manual Scavengers and their Rehabilitation Act, 2013, and the Prevention of Atrocity Act. The post-mortem report is expected to throw light on the exact cause of death. 

The National Commission for Safai Karamacharis, a Central government body, has announced a compensation of Rs five lakh to the family of the deceased. M Shivanna, the chairperson of the commission, told Deccan Herald that instructions had also been given to the authorities concerned to provide suitable employment to Kumar’s wife.  

Earlier, relatives of the deceased threatened to keep his body in front of the MCC office and stage a protest if suitable compensation was not awarded to the family. 

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