New Delhi: The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) on Wednesday issued a notice to the Delhi Chief Secretary and police commissioner after two men died while cleaning the septic tank. The notices were issued by the commission after taking suo motu cognizance of media reports regarding the death of two labourers.
In all five men were affected. Two died, while three others are battling for life after they entered an unauthorized 10 feet deep septic tank at an under-construction house in Prem Nagar, Rohini, Delhi on the 7 May. Reportedly, the labourers had initially refused to clean the septic tank, as they were not trained for it but the house owner and the mason forced them to clean it saying that their wages for three days will be cut if they did not do the job. The commission has called for a detailed report in the matter within six weeks.
NHRC has also asked the Delhi government to inform whether it had issued any guidelines prohibiting unauthorized construction and cleaning of septic tanks and, if so, why its strict compliance was not being ensured. It has directed the Delhi government to chalk out appropriate instructions to deal with the issue and inform.
The commission has also observed that apparently, there were multiple reasons which might have caused the death of two persons in the incident. Had the septic tank not been constructed in an unauthorized manner and had the labourers been not forced to go inside the septic tank without any safety gear/ training, two precious lives could have been saved.
NHRC has also condemned as uncivilized the attitude of some people gathered at the place of the incident for not coming to the help of the victims terming them as untouchables. Reportedly, a criminal case has been registered by the police under sections 304/34 of IPC along with relevant sections of the SC/ST Act and Prohibition of Employment as Manual Scavengers and Rehabilitation Act.
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Updated Date: May 09, 2019 12:33:38 IST