Days after 18-month-old Chinnari died in the bowels of an open borewell in Telangana, the state police arrested Malla Reddy, whose family owns the land on which the uncapped borewell sits. However, within hours of being arrested, Reddy secured bail.
The Cyberabad police had registered a case against Reddy earlier, under Section 336 of the IPC, for endangering the life or personal safety of others. Later, Section 304-A (causing death by negligence) was also added to the list of charges. On Tuesday afternoon, the Chevella police took Reddy into custody.
Confirming the same, SI N.Sridhar Reddy told TNM, "We had booked him under Section 304-A (Causing death by negligence) of the IPC. He was arrested and sent to remand, but he obtained bail."
According to reports, the borewell was an illegal one, and not accounted for by the state government's Revenue Department.
The police said that it was dug around one year ago, when Reddy was looking for water. While he had originally covered the borewell, he had reopened it recently.
"At that time, he had covered the borewell with a stone. Around 10 days before the incident, with rains lashing the area, he re-opened it, to check for water. It was at this time that he lowered a small motor into the hole, along with a pipe. However, he didn't cover it after that," the SI said.
"Even if the pipe was slightly thicker, the baby would not have fit in. He used a thin pipe, and left the hole open, which led to the unfortunate incident," the officer added.
Chinnari fell into the 450-ft deep borewell last Thursday, while playing with her elder sister and other children in Chenvel village in Rangareddy district, about 55km from Hyderabad.
After a rescue operation that lasted for three days, the 18-month-old baby was found dead at a depth of 180 feet.
Rescue workers pulled out her body early on Sunday, dashing the hopes of her parents, relatives and hundreds of people who had been waiting at the site, fervently praying for her safety.
State Transport Minister Mahender Reddy, who was supervising the rescue operation, said all efforts were made to rescue the child. The girl was first seen stuck at a depth of 40 feet, but she then slipped further and was finally found dead at 180 feet.
Following her death, the government has directed Collectors of all districts to cap all abandoned borewells to prevent such incidents.