Zakir was loading mangoes on an orchard less than half a kilometre away from the blast site.

A labourer working at a stone quarry at Athwajan near Srinagar Image for representation/PTI
news Death Sunday, May 30, 2021 - 14:27

A 40-year-old farmworker named Zakir was killed after a stone triggered from a blast at a nearby quarry hit him on the head, in Kadiyalakunta village of Chowdepalle mandal in Andhra’s Chittoor district. On May 29 afternoon, Zakir was working in a mango orchard adjacent to a stone quarry, loading mangoes onto a tractor, when a rock was blasted at the private stone quarry, from a distance of about 300 metres. A portion of the rock hurtled towards Zakir and injured his head, killing him. Zakir was a resident of the nearby Koturu village. 

According to Chowdepalle Sub-Inspector Krishna Mohan, the blast was carried out by people other than the ones who had the license to carry it out. Mallesh, a supervisor working on the quarry, has been booked under section 304A (causing death by negligence) of the Indian Penal Code. “The supervisor claimed that they had already informed people working in surrounding areas that blasts would be done at that time,” the SI said, adding that authorities are still verifying if the quarry owners had the permits and licenses required to operate. 

Earlier on May 8, in the neighbouring Kadapa district, 10 workers were killed in a massive explosion at a limestone quarry. The explosion took place when gelatin sticks were being unloaded from a car at the quarry site near Mamillapalle village. Around a thousand gelatin sticks had been transported to the quarry from Pulivendula town. Police investigation revealed that the mine owners did not have the permission required to transport the explosives. Three persons were arrested in the case — one of the mine owners Nageswar Reddy,  a worker named Raghunatha Reddy, and another owner of mining operations YS Pratap Reddy, who is reportedly related to Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy. The state government announced an ex-gratia amount of Rs 10 lakh each to the kin of the workers who died in the blast.

Read: Andhra police arrest kin of CM Jagan in Kadapa quarry explosion case that left 10 dead

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