A 17-year-old boy, son of a daily wager, lost his life after being made to perform a dangerous stunt of burying himself in a sandpit for an entire day in a village in Panipat’s Samalkha town. “Sumit was buried in the five-foot-deep pit when the stunt started on June 24 evening and also tied up in a sack and wooden planks were nailed on top.
“When he was brought out the next day, he was unconscious, but after being taken to a hospital in Panipat district, he was declared as dead on arrival,” Samalkha Police Station’s SHO, Jitender Singh said today. A case of culpable homicide not amounting to murder has been registered against five persons, including the main organiser of the stunt show, he said.
The boy’s family has alleged that the organisers had delayed in rushing him to hospital immediately. The SHO said that once the hospital authorities declared the teenager as dead, “they panicked, left him there, and escaped”.
Singh said the show was organised in Chuklana village by some villagers hailing from a nearby village, but they had “not taken any permission” for it. He said the show had started on June 18 in the village and was organised on a panchayat land, he said.
Asked why the police had not acted in time to stop the show from running as no permission had been taken by the organisers, the SHO said, “Such small shows keep on taking place in villages and no life threatening stunts are performed. “However, on Saturday evening the burial stunt was performed, which the organisers should not have gone ahead with.”
The organisers used to collect money from the audience during various shows which were performed through the week. Mam Chand, the boy’s father, who hails from Kurad village in Panipat, in his complaint said that the organisers had approached him on June 16 for taking his son along for the show and promised to pay some money.
Living in extreme poverty, the man allowed his son to take part in the show. The boy was made to do various tasks for a week before being buried in the pit, which was supposed to be the grand finale, police said, adding one accused has been arrested in connection with the case.