2 drown in under-construction swimming pool

Police say deceased were drunk; kin contradict claim

May 22, 2018 01:40 am | Updated 01:40 am IST - NEW DELHI



Two men allegedly drowned in an under-construction swimming pool on Sunday evening in north Delhi’s Burari, the police said on Monday. They alleged that Neeraj (23) and Amit (23), both residents of Burari, were drunk at the time of the incident. However, their families have contradicted this claim saying they did not drink.

Neeraj, a media graduate, helped his father in his printing business, while Amit, the sole breadwinner of his family, was involved in fitting water purifiers.

The families said Neeraj, Amit and their friend Bharat (20) had left the house around 4 p.m. on Sunday saying they were going for a swim in the nearby pool.

The families said the victims had not visited the pool earlier. “Amit got a call from Bharat. They were friends and went to the gym together. I do not know why he agreed to go to the pool,” said Amit’s mother Janki (50). His father died last year due to excessive drinking.

Additional Deputy Commissioner of Police (North) Harendra Singh said the three men reached the pool around 4.30 p.m. but the caretaker asked them to leave.

“They returned around 7.30 p.m. They were heavily drunk. They pushed the caretaker and entered the pool premises. Amit and Neeraj dove into the deep end and drowned within minutes. Bharat, who was on the shallow end, shouted for help. However, niether Bharat nor the caretaker were able to save Amit and Neeraj,” Mr. Singh said.

The two men were rushed to a private hospital, where Amit and Neeraj were declared brought dead. The police said the pool was in the final stages of construction and the persons incharge did not have a licence to run it. However, locals alleged they charged ₹100 to ₹130 per person for a swim.

“It opened less than a month ago. They charged ₹100 for a swim and ₹130 if you needed a costume,” said Babli, a resident of Beri Ka Bagh, where the pool is situated. Mr. Singh however, said the pool was not open to the public.

Two arrested

Two persons, including the caretaker, have been arrested for causing death due to negligence. Mr. Singh said property owner Mangesh Tyagi had leased the premises to Vikram Ujjainwal.

“Investigation has revealed that safety measures including life jackets, pool fencing, drain cover and pool alarm were missing. No licence was taken for running the pool. Caretaker Rakesh and Mr. Ujjainwal have been arrested,” Mr. Singh said, adding that a letter has been sent to the Labour Department for inspection.

Meanwhile, Bharat’s mother Rekha said he was not in a condition to talk and is still trying to come to terms with the incident.

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