Several efforts were made to rescue Sujith: TN CM

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister K Palaniswami (PTI File Photo)

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister K Palaniswami on Tuesday said several efforts were made to save the three-year-old boy who died trapped in a borewell, even as opposition DMK alleged that the state government had a "lethargic attitude" towards rescuing the toddler.

Palaniswami also directed officials to ensure strict enforcement of rules for digging of borewells.

Rescuers early on Tuesday pulled out the decomposed and mangled body of Sujith Wilson from deep inside the unused borewell, after a futile 80-hour attempt to save the child who had fallen in while playing near his house in Nadukattupatti in Tiruchirappalli.

Expressing grief over Wilson's death, Palaniswami said he had deputed three ministers and Revenue Administration Commissioner J Radhakrishnan, to oversee rescue operations.

"Many difficulties were faced when a separate borewell (shaft) was being dug near the one (where Wilson was trapped) due to the presence of hard rocks. Overcoming all of them, rescue efforts were carried out day and night," he said in a statement.

Modern equipment was deployed in this process, but despite these efforts, Wilson was retrieved dead, the chief minister said.

"Rules regarding the sinking of borewells have already been framed and published in a gazette. I have directed district collectors to ascertain if the rules are duly followed," he said.

Palaniswami said he has directed stringent action against those who did not comply with the rules and appealed to people to follow stipulations while digging borewells to prevent recurrence of such incidents.

He expressed his gratitude to all those involved in the rescue efforts.

The DMK hit out at the state government, with its president M K Stalin saying, "The lethargic attitude of the government is also a reason (for the child's death)."

He was speaking to reporters after visiting the cemetery where Wilson was buried earlier in the day.

After meeting Wilson's grieving parents, he said there was a feeling "if some ministers and officials showed the same keenness in the rescue efforts like they did to give interviews to TV channels," over the issue.

Relevant government departments should have been aware of the nature of rocks in the area, Stalin said, adding that Wilson "could have been saved at 36 ft itself".

"Why were not the NDRF and the army called in soon after the incident.. my intention is to not to criticise the government but we don't want another child to face Sujith's fate," he said.

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