AIADMK, DMK in slugfest over failure to save toddler from death in borewell
DMK Chief M K Stalin faulted the government for the delay in mounting a rescue operation for Sujith Wilson and for adopting a “trial and error” method of operations.Updated: Oct 30, 2019, 19:04 IST
The death of two-year-old Sujith Wilson who fell into a an abandoned borewell near Trichy last week has triggered a war of words between the ruling All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) and opposition Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) over the failed rescue attempt to save the child.
Sujith was declared dead on Tuesday.
Hours after Sujith’s body was laid to rest in Fatima Pudur near Trichy on Tuesday, DMK President MK Stalin who paid homage to the toddler accused the AIADMK government of failing to mount a proper rescue operation.
“Ministers who monitored the rescue operations were very keen to give interviews to media. But they failed to coordinate efforts to save Sujith. The AIADMK government should have called the military for the rescue. But it did not do that,” Stalin said.
Chief minister Edappadi K Palaniswami (EPS) promptly hit back saying Stalin was not a scientist to find fault in the government’s rescue operations.
“In 2009, a five-year-old boy was trapped into a borewell in Theni. DMK was then in power and it did not call the military for saving the boy. But Stalin expected us to call the military. Expert teams, technicians from Anna University, L&T, and ONGC, were deployed in the rescue operation. Stalin is trying to defame the ruling party and Government despite the efforts we made to save Sujith. He is speaking like a scientist,” EPS told reporters.
Countering the CM, the DMK leader said EPS was frustrated and not ready to accept the failure.
“I am not a scientist and just a common man. I expressed my views about the rescue operation and the delay. However, the CM failed to understand my concern…. when a boy fell into a borewell in Theni in 2009, we called the military for assistance. Two military teams from Trichy and Bengaluru had rescued the five-year-old Mayi Irulan. But he later died,” Stalin said in a statement on Wednesday.
He also faulted the government for the delay in mounting a rescue and for adopting a “trial and error” method of operations.
“The National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) personnel Rajan Balu himself said that they were called only after all rescue efforts had failed. Though Sujith fell into the borewell on Friday evening, the NDRF reached the spot only on Saturday. Six hours after the boy fell into the borewell, the officials informed the NDRF stationed at Arakkonam. It takes about five hours for the NDRF team to reach Trichy but the NDRF took 12 hours to reach. The NDRF spokesperson said they have no experience of rescuing people from borewells,” said Stalin.
He also accused the CM of deputing Health Minister Vijaya Bhaskar to coordinate rescue operations instead of giving the charge to the disaster management authorities.
“Trichy collector S Sivarasu carried out the rescue operations in a trial and error format. He allowed one hour for each rescue team. It was the worst model when a boy was struggling for life. Disaster Management Commissioner J Radhakrishnan reached the accident spot only on Sunday. So, the CM should clarify all these things without getting angry,” the leader of opposition stressed.
J Radhakrishnan, State Revenue administration, disaster management and mitigation the commissioner said Sujith’s death was an accident.
“We made the best efforts to rescue Sujith. But unfortunately, he died. It is an accident, not a disaster,” Radhakrishnan said.