Bagalkot boy stuck in borewell feared dead

Robot operation fails, could not reach depth

Bagalkot boy stuck in borewell feared dead

 The six-year-old boy, Thimmanna Hatti, who fell into a borewell in a sugarcane field in Sulikeri village in Badami taluk on Sunday, is feared dead, as his hands (which were visible through a digital micro-camera on Sunday) could not be seen on Monday. 

There is a possibility that a large amount of soil has fallen on him during the non-stop rescue operation.

A robot was lowered twice by farmer K A Manjegowda, from Komanahalli village in K R Pete taluk, Mandya district, to rescue the boy, but in vain.

While the boy was at least 160 feet below ground level, the robot reached only 140 feet deep due to hindrance by stones. Manjegowda made changes to the robot to decrease its size and tried reaching it to the boy, but was unsuccessful.

The Disaster Relief Force team led by Basavaraj Hiremath, that arrived on Sunday night, from Sangli, Maharashtra, had lowered a rope and managed to tie it to the boy’s hands to ensure that he did not slip further. However, the knot got untied by next evening. A 70-foot-deep ditch on a half-acre space is being dug near the borewell, so as to make a tunnel to reach the boy. District in-charge minister S R Patil was at the spot on Monday too.

PDO, AEE suspended

Minister H K Patil said that Shoukath Ali , Panchayat Development Officer (PDO) of Sulikeri Gram Panchayat (GP) and Badami taluk Assistant Executive Engineer (AEE) Eshwar Kurubagatti have been suspended. 

Belgaum North Region IGP Bhaskar Rao said that a criminal law suit would be filed against the PDO, AEE, GP president, vice-president, members and the borewell agency.

Thimmanna’s father Hanumappa said that he reached the spot within five minutes of the boy falling into the borewell and heard his son shouting that a rope be thrown into the borewell. He said that Thimmanna was at a depth of seven-eight feet then.

 Hanumappa did not have a rope at the moment and went to get it. By the time he returned, Thimmanna had slipped down and could not be traced, said Hanumappa.

Thimmanna’s friends at Srilakshmi Ranganath Primary School came to the spot and prayed for the boy’s safety. They, along with their teachers, conducted a special prayer holding placards with the words ‘Thimmanna, come back safely’ and ‘Thimmanna be born again’. 

Borewells had been banned in Badami and Bagalkot taluks for the past two years, as water could not be found. However, borewells have been dug illegally in the area.

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