Two children were electrocuted after they came in contact with a live wire near Anekal on Thursday. The wire was lying on a vacant plot in front of their house in Balagalanahalli, on the southern outskirts of Bangalore.
People in the neighbourhood blamed the heart-wrenching deaths on Bescom officials who rejoin broken wire connections instead of replacing them.
Jintu Das (9) and his sister Dhanusmitha Das (5) were playing near their house after their parents left for work in the morning.
Dhanusmitha wanted to eat. Jintu took her to a nearby shop and bought her a packet of chips. When they were returning, Dhanusmitha touched the live wire, mistaking it for an object she could play with, police said. The power surged into her body and she fell to the ground. Jintu rushed to her rescue and even he was electrocuted. Both children died on the spot.
Their father Deepak Das works as a security guard and their mother Pronitha Das is a garment factory worker in Attibele. The couple hail from Assam and had come to the city recently. Police said the incident took place around 10.15 am. A passerby who noticed the children alerted neighbours, who then called Bescom and the police. A senior policeman said the callousness of Bescom staff had caused the deaths. “They did nothing even though people had frequently complained about poor maintenance of wiring in the area,” he said.
Ravikumar, a resident of the area, said, “Instead of replacing wires, Bescom staff just knot them up every time there is a problem. The wires are old and keep falling to the ground again and again.”
A complaint was that Bescom staff didn’t attend to complaints quickly.
Vijaykumar, Bescom assistant executive engineer, reportedly visited the spot and announced Rs 4 lakh as compensation for the family. But citizens demanded more and placed the bodies of the children on the road.
Bescom managing director Pankajkumar Pandey told Express coconut fronds often crash and bring down electrical wires. “People don’t allow us to cut those trees. But I have strictly ordered officials to fix new wires instead of rejoining the ones that are cut off. I have also asked the executive engineer to submit a detailed report on this incident. It will be investigated by a committee headed by a retired judge,” he said. Anekal police are investigating.