Yet another manual scavenger died in hospital on Monday, after suffering from asphyxiation while cleaning a drainage line in Unjha town of Mehsana district on Sunday.
With this, the total number of deaths in the incident has climbed to three. Two had died on Sunday.
Unjha police have registered an FIR under various provisions of the Indian Penal Code and Scheduled Castes & Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act against the proprietor of P C Snehal Construction Company Private Limited that had employed the workers to clean the drains, without providing them with adequate safety equipment, and Ranchhod Kakadiya from Ahmedabad, who is the project manager of the company, responsible for the company’s affairs in Unjha. The accused have been booked for culpable homicide not amounting to murder.
A complaint in this regard has been lodged by one Vijay Solanki from Palanpur, who was accompanying the deceased when they entered the drainage line and suffocated.
The third manual scavenger who died in hospital on Monday morning, has been identified as Anil Kunvariya (25) from Palanpur.
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Two Dalit boys, in their early 20s, asphyxiated to death in Unjha on Sunday morning, after they entered a drainage line for cleaning without proper safety equipment. While the two boys, Haresh Kumariya (24) and Anil Chauhan (27), died on the spot, Kunvariya was shifted to a hospital in critical condition, who died on Monday morning.
DSP K S Savani, who is investigating the case, said they have started an investigation into who had instructed the trio to enter the drainage line. “The construction company told us that their ‘contract had expired on March 31 last year and that they were responsible only for the maintenance of the drainage network. They also said that under the rules, nobody is suppose to enter the drainage line manually’. So, we are trying to find out under whose instructions the labourers entered the drainage line,” Savani added.