CUDDALORE: A 12-year-old boy drowned in rainwater in a 10-foot-deep pit dug up for constructing a bus stop by the highways department at Puthuvilankulam near Vijayamanagaram in Vriddachalam taluk on Tuesday evening. No warning board was kept near the uncovered pit, villagers said.
According to police sources, J Vinoth Kumar (12) had dropped out of school after class four. His father Jeyamorthy is a farmer and his mother Vijayakumar is a farm labourer. On Tuesday, Kumar’s parents were at work when the tragedy struck their son.
“The boy went out of his home to play with friends in the afternoon. After nearly an hour, villagers found his body floating in rainwater in the pit,” police said. The Managalampettai police booked a case under Section 174 of CrPC, recovered the body and sent it to the Government Villupuram Medical College Hospital in Mundiyampakkam for autopsy.
A resident of Vijayamanagaram said, “Vriddachalam to Ulundurpet road widening work was taken up a few months ago as part of the Chennai-Kanniyakumari industrial corridor project.”
Villagers & kin of the deceased call for strict action against officials
“Four pits were dug to build a bus stop a month ago but work didn’t start. Usually, kids from the village play on the temple premises nearby and the boy must have fallen in the pit mistakenly. No one noticed him falling,” villagers said.
Meanwhile, the boy’s kin and villagers blocked the Virudachalam- Ulundurpet Road late on Tuesday demanding action against the contractor and officials responsible for the death and demanding compensation for the victim’s family.
The crowd dispersed after Virudachalam DSP Ankit Jain and tahsildar Thanabathy held talks with the protesters. Speaking to reporters, the boy’s father Jeyamorthy said, “Vinoth was born 13 years after our marriage. We have lost him now because of the carelessness of a contractor and officials. Severe action must be taken against them.”