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Death in manhole: police yet to fix responsibility

Marri Ramu

Victim's father approaches Gandhinagar police seeking to withdraw the case against MCH


  • In-charge of manholes in the division where the incident took place retires from service
  • Person designated as man `mazdoor' says that he is attached to the area after the incident
  • MCH panel probing the issue is yet to complete its work

    HYDERABAD: Five weeks after a 10th class student slipped into a manhole and met a watery grave in Kavadiguda, the police are yet to find out why the manhole was left open and who is responsible for the criminal negligence.

    The police found that a municipal corporation employee Malleshwar was in-charge of the work pertaining to manholes in Division IV where K. Sai Kumar died. Malleshwar retired from service on August 30, three weeks after the incident. When the police questioned him, he reportedly maintained that he did not remember when the manhole was checked the last time.

    The moot question

    He was not sure if somebody stole the cover or broke it for some reason. Chances of it being stolen were remote since it was made of cement. Had the cover slipped inside the manhole, it would have blocked the flow of water. But that did not happen. In that case, who was responsible for leaving the manhole uncovered is the baffling question.

    From the MCH side, there was another person Shiva Shankar designated as man `mazdoor', who is supposed to look after manhole covers. While locals claim that Shankar was working in Kavadiguda before Kumar's death, he maintained that he was attached to the area "after the incident."

    The police found that there were no written orders posting him to Kavadiguda and that he was "working only on oral instructions."

    Confronted with this peculiar situation, the police are now verifying the attendance register. MCH higher-ups suspended the local Assistant Engineer Nayeem and Executive Engineer Eshwaraiah, holding them responsible for the boy's death on the day of the accident. They also constituted a separate committee to conduct a thorough probe into the issue. But, their probe, too, is yet to be completed. The committee head and MCH Additional Commissioner (Projects) K. Dhanunjaya Reddy said that the inquiry was still on.

    Probe on

    Ironically, the victim's father Mallesh recently approached the Gandhinagar police saying he would like to withdraw the complaint he had lodged against the civic body on August 9. "Though he submitted a representation asking us to drop the charges against the MCH, we're proceeding with the probe as a case under Section 304-A (causing death by negligence) was already registered," a police officer associated with the investigation said.

    Sai Kumar's was the second such death that shook the State capital. Earlier, a bank employee V. Durga Kumari slipped into a manhole and was washed away on July 15 near New Durganagar. A month later, the Amberpet police arrested a local T. Srinivasa Chary charging him under Section 304 (culpable homicide not amounting to murder) of IPC in connection with the incident.

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