KOPPAL: “Now, I can only curse myself for sending my son to the hostel. He was at home celebrating the festival and went back to the hostel a few days ago. Today morning, I received a call from the hostel stating that my son is no more,” said an angry parent at the Koppal district hospital, even as the police were taking bodies of five deceased boys for postmortem.
Parents, relatives and general public gathered on the hospital premises were in tears seeing bodies of five boys. Many parents could not hold back their tears and anger. They accused the hostel staff of being negligent towards the safety of children staying there.
Nagappa Hadapada, parent of deceased Devaraj, said his son was intelligent and had dreams of studying further. “My son was studying in class 9. We were dreaming about our son scoring good marks in examinations. But now we realise that he is no more. We are unable to believe our eyes and ears,” he said.
Many parents questioned the hostel staff on why the students were allowed to go so close to the electric wire. “There are dos and dont’s and the staff must have been alert about children. It’s the mistake of hostel staff and they must be punished,” said another parent.
Soon after the incident, several parents from nearby villages came to the hostel and took back their wards. By Sunday evening, most rooms of the hostel were emptied. A hostel official said the students and parents are in a state of shock and hence, the officials did not stop them from leaving the hostel. “We hope they will return to the hostel and their school soon. Meanwhile, safety measures will be taken at the hostel soon,” he said.
“There were about 60 children staying at the hostel, most were known to each other and are in a state of shock. We are taking our children back home for some days,” said a parent.
Two in custody, building owner missing
Koppal police have already secured custody of hostel warden and a section officer of GESCOM. The arrests are expected to be registered by Monday. The building owner has gone missing after the incident and efforts are being made to nab him.