Ambedkar Jayanti preparations turn fatal for three men

Ambedkar Jayanti preparations turn fatal for three men

Preparations for Ambedkar Jayanti turned tragic for the residents of AK Colony in Kyathamaranahalli in the city as three men died of electrocution and many sustained injuries while trying to erect a cutout of Dr B R Ambedkar on Thursday night.

The deceased have been identified as Manikanta (24), Shiva (25) and Kumaraswamy (42), while Raghavendra and Shivakumar are undergoing treatment at KR Hospital.

Tragedy struck when they were installing a 25-ft tall cutout of Ambedkar in the area as part of the celebrations. The cutout was carved using iron rods and electrocuted Kumaraswamy after the it came in contact with a live electric cable. Manikanta and Shiva died at a hospital. According to sources, nine persons sustained injuries in the incident.

Many residents in the colony belong to the Dalit community and had been contributing money every year to celebrate the birth anniversary of Ambedkar. According to residents, members of Prajnavanta Dalit Yuvakaru Jai Bhim Geleyara Balaga and Jai Bhim Vichara Samiti had been celebrating the jayanti for over a decade now. Every year, they illuminate the area, erect flexboards and cutouts containing Ambedkar’s pictures.

Resident Eshwar told DH that, “We decided to cut a cake at midnight after installing the cutout. More than 15 men were involved in the work. A sudden gust of wind started blowing and the cutout came in contact with live electric wires.”

Programmes called off
Several programmes were planned as part of the celebrations from April 14 to 30 but had to be cancelled due to this untoward incident. Residents had also planned to take out a motorbike rally from Nimbehannu Circle in the area to the Town Hall on Friday and had invited Mayor M J Ravikumar to distribute notebooks to schoolchildren in the area.

District in-charge and PWD Minister Dr H C Mahadevappa, who paid his last respects to the deceased at KR Hospital mortuary, said that he has directed the district administration to issue a compensation of Rs 2 lakh to the kin of the deceased.