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5 faint while cleaning septic tank in Delhi, 2 die later

Report By Shivani Baddi | Christ College Student Bengaluru | Last Updated at May 08 2019

Delhi: 5 laborers faint in Bhagya Vihar in Prem Nagar, Delhi while cleaning a septic tank at an under construction house on Tuesday afternoon.

2 of them were claimed dead as soon as they were taken to the hospital and 3 are under treatment in Sanjay Gandhi hospital.

A case of negligence will be filed under section 304 (Culpable homicide not amounting to murder) and section 3(J) of Scheduled caste and Scheduled Tribe (Prevention of Atrocities Act) under section 5/8 of the Prohibition of Employment as manual scavengers and Rehabilitation Act as a result of this incident.

This incident took place around 1:30 PM, on Tuesday when Ganesh Saha, Deepak Lambu, Rambir, Sher Singh and Babloo Kumar, who are all contractual workers went to Bhagya Vihar. According to a few eye witnesses, the 2 workers who died, Ganesh Saha and Deepak Lambu had entered the tank without any safety gear.

It has been reported that they initially refused to enter the tank, saying that they were not trained for the job, but were forced into it. Rambir, the mason along with the house owner Gulam Mustafa had supposedly threatened them not to pay 3 day’s wages if they didn’t clean the 10-feet-deep tank.

The 2 laborers that entered the tank first, fainted due to exposure to toxic gases, the 3 fellow workers tried rescuing them but fainted in the process as well, after which other laborers and local residents got together and rescued them. The police was informed that the house owner delayed pulling out the bodies of the 2 workers, resulting in their death.

A crime and forensics team visited the site. Bodies of the 2 men were sent for post-mortem, results of which show that they died of asphyxiation (state of being deprived of oxygen) and their families were informed.

Manual Savaging has been banned from the Indian Constitution in 2013, but is still seen in practice across various states in India.

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