A local court on Wednesday remanded the two accused arrested on Tuesday night in sewer deaths case to two days police custody. Hassan Abbas, owner of Hotel Darshan in Dabhoi and his brother, Imdad, were on the run after seven people suffocated to death while cleaning a septic tank outside the hotel on Saturday.
“We demanded remand to interrogate the accused. We have to find out details of the contract given to the men to clean the septic tank. Since the contractor himself died in the incident, there were unanswered questions,” said Deputy Superintendent of Police, Kalpesh Solanki.
While the initial FIR mentioned only Hassan as the main accused in the case, his brother’s name was added after he was found to be absconding and was identified as the manager of the hotel. Police apprehended Hassan and Imdad from outside the latter’s house in Fatehgunj area of the city.
The police were keeping a close watch at all his residences and his relatives’ residences in Vadodara, Bharuch and Mehsana. The accused were booked for culpable homicide not amounting to murder and violation of the Prohibition of Employement as Manual Scavengers and their rehabilitation Act and Scheduled Castes and Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act.
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Chairman of National Commission for Safai Karmacharis, Manhar Zala, and National SC Commission member, K Ramulu, on Wednesday visited the families of the deceased person in Thuvavi. They also held meetings with the district administration and stressed on the point that state governments should introduce mechanised cleaning of underground drain pipes and septic tanks.
District Development Officer, Kiran Jhaveri, who was part of the meeting said, “They reiterated the need for stringent implementation of rules laid down under the Prevention of Employment of Manual Scavengers Act. They emphasised that all state governments should opt for mechanised cleaning.”