Three scavengers lost their lives this week when they were roped in to clean a manhole on Kagadaspura Road. The trio died of suffocation. Previously, we had mentioned how according to a 2016 report, over 59 manual scavenging deaths have been recorded in the state since 2008, but not one of them have resulted in a conviction or arrest.

 

The latest update is that 3 persons from Ramky Infrastructure Ltd. were arrested on March 14 in connection with the death of the manual scavengers in Kagdaspura. A report in the Hindu details names as K. Babu Reddy, Assistant General Manager (Projects), Ramky Infrastructure Ltd. and in-charge of their projects in Bengaluru, Vemula Anjaneyulu, a sub-contractor hired by the company, and N.T. Reddy, Manager (Projects). These three officials were arrested by the Baiyappanahalli police.

 

The police have booked them under Section 304 of the IPC (culpable homicide not amounting to murder) and under sections of the Prohibition of Employment as Manual Scavengers and Rehabilitation Act, 2013.
 

The report also added how the FIR has a mention of some BWSSB officials, whose role is now being probed by the police. Manual scavenging deaths are booked as accidental, and the criminality of the contractors is never established and often the police turn a blind eye to such cases. The imprisonment in such cases of culpable homicide is said to be 10 years when booked under Section 304.

 

First, two labourers went inside the manhole and when there was no oxygen supply, they have cried out for help. Hearing the cries, the driver of the tractor which drove them to the spot also got down to help them but instead was suffocated and all three died inside the manhole. The fire extinguishing department got the information at 1 pm. When the fire personnel came to the spot, there three were already dead and their body was taken out.