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Death of pourakarmikas: man held

Staff Correspondent
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Three died on October 24 while cleaning a soak pit in Kolar Gold Fields

Although manual scavenging has been banned, it continues to be practised in the State. — File Photo: Vishwa Kundapura
Although manual scavenging has been banned, it continues to be practised in the State. — File Photo: Vishwa Kundapura

The Robertsonpet police at Kolar Gold Fields (KGF) have arrested Anandaraj, the owner of the house in Ashoknagar where three pourakarmikas died on October 24 while cleaning a soak pit.

The police registered a case against the Commissioner and the Health Inspector of Robertsonpet City Municipal Council (CMC) on charge of dereliction of duty which allegedly caused the death of three pourakarmikas.

Nagendrababu (26), Ravi (29) and Prasad Kutty (35) were killed of asphyxiation while cleaning a soak pit at Anandaraj's house.

Seven workers were reportedly engaged by Anandaraj for cleaning the pit for a sum of Rs. 5,000.

Following a complaint lodged by Arun, the brother of Prasad Kutty, one of the victims, against Anandaraj and his son Sunil, the police have arrested Anandaraj. In his complaint, Mr. Arun alleged that the workers were forced to enter the soak pit for cleaning it in spite of their refusal to do the work for safety reasons. Cases were registered against Dalit leaders A.P.L. Ranganath, Sulikunte Ramesh, Narasimha, Manikyam, Safai Karmacharis Struggle Committee leader Padma for agitating in demand of more compensation to the families of the deceased. KGF MLA Y. Sampangi on Tuesday distributed cheques of Rs. one lakh each to the families of the deceased persons. Bangarpet tahsildar S.M. Mangala and Assistant Commissioner R.S. Peddappaiah distributed cheques of Rs. one lakh each to families of victims from B.R. Ambedkar Development Corporation, and Rs. 10,000 each from the taluk administration.

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