Contractor booked for Noida wall collapse still at large, survivors demand his arrest
Harish Chander, deputy commissioner of police, Noida, said teams have been deployed to nab the absconding suspect
The work contractor who was booked for fatal negligence after a boundary wall collapsed in Noida’s Sector 21 on Tuesday, killing four of his workers cleaning a drain adjacent to it and injuring eight others, is still on the run and is yet to be arrested, the police said on Wednesday, adding that the man’s family is being questioned to glean information on his whereabouts.
The workers who survived the wall collapse have, meanwhile, accused the police of being lax in the probe and not arresting work contractor Sundar Yadav, who was booked along with labour contractor Gul Mohammed who supplied workers, two of them minors, to Yadav. Both minors, aged 15 and 17 years, came under the wall and died.
The 40m boundary wall of Jal Vayu Vihar collapsed on Tuesday morning while 12 workers were cleaning the drain adjacent to it as part of a drain repair work award by the Noida authority.
An FIR was registered against the two suspects under sections 304 (death due to negligence), 337 (injury due to negligence), 338 (grievous hurt due to negligence) of the Indian Penal Code and Section 14 (1) (punishment for employing child) of the Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Act for making minors work.
Harish Chander, deputy commissioner of police, Noida, said teams have been deployed to nab the absconding suspect. “Labour contractor Gul Mohammad was arrested on Tuesday itself. The other suspect, Sundar Yadav, is still absconding. His family members are being questioned regarding his whereabouts while his last traced location was his residence in Sector 49,” he said.
Sanjeev Singh, one of the injured workers, who submitted the complaint to the police naming the two suspects, alleged that the police are not investigating the matter seriously.
“Yadav was in Noida on the day of the incident as we spoke to him just before the wall collapsed. How could he manage to flee in such a short time that police are unable to find him? He is primarily responsible for the death of the four workers -- we had informed him about the wall’s poor condition and he still asked us to work. The police should nab him immediately,” said Singh, who is currently in Badaun with his family.
Chander said that all efforts are being made to arrest Yadav.
Singh said three of the deceased -- Amit Yadav (17), Pushpendra Singh (25), and Pannalal (25) -- who belonged to Vicholna village of Badaun district, were cremated on Wednesday. The fourth deceased Dharmveer (15), who belonged to Sambhal district, has also been cremated, said his uncle Bhim Singh.
“Amit’s mother and Pushpendra’s wife are unconscious since last night when the bodies arrived in the village. The dead people’s kin have been given a compensation of ₹5 lakh by the Noida authority, but how will that suffice for the loss of a loved one?” said Sanjeev.
He said the injured workers have also demanded compensation from the authorities. However, officials of the Noida authority said there are no plans to provide any compensation to the injured. District magistrate Suhas LY said, “We will examine the case of the injured workers and consider their demands.”
Pappu Singh, the fifth worker who came under the debris but escaped with injuries, is admitted to the district hospital in Sector 30 and will undergo surgery on Thursday. “The patient has suffered a fracture to his right thigh and will undergo a surgery on Thursday. The cost of his treatment has been waived by the district hospital administration,” said Dr Rajendra Kumar, assistant chief medical officer, district hospital.
DCP Chander also said the post-mortem report has revealed the cause of death as ante-mortem injuries. “The autopsy report states that all the four men suffered haemorrhage, shock and died of ante-mortem injuries,” he said.