Udupi, April 8, 2018 (IE): A manual scavenger died due to asphyxiation while trying to clean a toilet pit in Kodi village in Kundapur here on Saturday. After being alerted by the house owner, locals tried to rescue Sandeep, 32, of Thekkatte by pulling him out, but he breathed his last due to asphyxiation a little later. The incident happened around 2 pm.
According to the police, Sandeep, a member of Scheduled Tribes community, had been cleaning toilet pits in various houses in the past too. Abdul Khader Jilani had hired the victim to clean his toilet pit as his daughter’s marriage was scheduled for Monday. While Sandeep was inside the pit, he complained of suffocation to those who were standing above the pit. Immediately, a rope was lowered to reach him, but he could not come out on his own. People at the site then lifted a semiconscious Sandeep from the pit and rushed him to hospital, but he died en route.
A case under Section 304-A (Negligent act resulting in death) of Indian Penal Code has since been registered against Abdul Khader Jilani who engaged Sandeep, according to Dinesh Kumar, DySP, Kundapur, who went on to tell TNIE, “He will also be charged under sections of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act and Prohibition of Employment as Manual Scavengers and their Rehabilitation Act.
“The authorities have prohibited manual scavenging and advise the use of machines to repair or remove sewage blocks. Courts have issued clear and specific guidelines in this regard. Before undertaking any sewage-related works, the sewage should first be removed, and tests conducted to find out if there is poisonous gas,” said Dalit activist Sathish Thekkatte from Kundapur. “It is a lapse on the part of authorities and the house owner if they allowed the worker without any supervision,” he charged. Police said they are investigating the matter.
Courtesy: Indian Express