Delhi sanitation workers’ death: Two arrested, slapped with stricter charges
The victims—Swarn Singh, Deepak, Anil, Balwinder and Jaspal —had allegedly been hired by the owner of the 600-square feet building to clean the tank.delhi Updated: Jul 18, 2017 10:57 IST
A day after four workers died inhaling toxic gases while cleaning a tank in a building in south Delhi’s Vasant Kunj, the police arrested two men on charges of culpable homicide not amounting to murder.
The men have been accused of insisting the workers to enter the tank to clean it without providing them any safety gear.
Unlike usually when a case of causing death by negligence (IPC 304A) is registered in such deaths, the police booked the two on the harsher charge of culpable homicide not amounting to murder (IPC 304).
Unlike 304A that can fetch two years in jail, the section applied in this case can land a convict in jail for up to 10 years. The two were not granted bail and sent to judicial custody.
The victims—Swarn Singh, Deepak, Anil, Balwinder and Jaspal —had allegedly been hired by the owner of the 600-square feet building to clean the tank.
Police had said the tank they had entered on Saturday morning was a water harvesting facility, but turned toxic after sewage from an adjacent line collected in it over a period of time.
The men had been hired after the tank started to stink ever since the rains started. The tank had allegedly overflown and the filth had spread.
The men had entered the tank one by one after the first person to visit it had stopped responding to a conversation. While the first four men died because of the toxic gases, Jaspal, the last one to enter it, stopped mid-way on sensing the noxious gases. Jaspal had fainted but was lucky to survive.
Chinmoy Biswal, additional DCP (South), said the evidence collected suggested that there was no effort to ensure the safety of the workers. The arrested men have been identified as the building owner’s supervisor, Niranjan Singh, and Ridhipal, the gardener.
“Niranjan had called deceased Swarn Singh to clean the tank cleaning on the instruction of the house owner, but did not ensure safety of the workers. They insisted they enter the pit without any safety gear,” said the officer, that the other man was found to be similarly negligent.