A pall of gloom descended on Kanaswadi village in the Doddaballapur taluk of Bangalore Rural district where five young men were electrocuted while returning after immersing a Ganesha idol late on Saturday night.
Around 20 people were returning to the village on a tractor trailer after immersing the idol at a nearby lake.
Around 11:55 pm, two iron pillars, erected on the tractor’s trailer to support the flower-decorated “pallakki”, came in contact with an 11-kV high-tension wire, leading to the electrocution of the five men.
Three others suffered serious burns, while the rest managed to jump off the trailer, having seen the iron pillars come in contact with the wire.
Local residents informed the police about the incident. The cops rushed to the spot and shifted the bodies for post-mortem at Nelamanagala Government hospital. The injured were rushed to hospital.
The deceased have been identified as tractor driver Nagesh, 26, Kanaswadi-residents Raju, 23 and Darshan, 25, and Arun, 22 and Anjinamurthy, 25, from the neighbouring Marasandra village.
Nikith, 20, Chandan, 19 and Virupaksha, 47, suffered serious burns and are battling for their life in a private hospital at Banaswadi in Bangalore, said the police.
On Sunday morning, the members of the victims' family and villagers gathered in front of the Bangalore Electricity Supply Company Limited (Bescom) office in Kanaswadi, placed the five bodies in front of the building and staged a protest.
They alleged that Bescom officials' negligence had led to the tragedy. The villagers said despite repeated complaints about low-hanging electric wires, the officials never bothered to fix them. They also sought immediate suspension of the officials concerned. The Doddaballapur Rural police have registered a case in this regard and are further investigating the matter.
Local MP M Veerappa Moily, a former Union minister, visited the victims’ families. He promised them that action would be taken against the officials for their negligence, and also that the police would probe that angle.
He said he would take up the issue with Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, and ensure that the families got adequate compensation.