After the death of a young man employed in manual scavenging work in Bengaluru on January 25, his contractor who entered the sewage chamber for rescuing him also succumbed on Tuesday. Marianna, a labour contractor, was suffering from hypoxia and surviving on a ventilator at Bowring Hospital in Bengaluru. He died on Tuesday evening, around 4 pm, officials at Bowring Hospital confirmed. His family lives in Sarjapur and were informed about his death by Nagaraj, inspector at Commercial Street Police Station.
Marianna had approached Siddappa and hired him to clear debris at a building managed by SSBS Jain Sangh Trust on Infantry road. Siddappa was promised Rs 600 as wages for the job. But once he reached the place, he was instead asked to clean a sewage chamber, against the law banning manual scavenging work in India.
After Siddappa didn't come out of the sewage chamber, Marianna followed him into the chamber to rescue him. But he fell unconscious and was rescued by construction workers who were working in a nearby building. Doctors declared Siddappa as brought dead while Marianna was critical and received treatment in the ICU.
Siddappa died of asphyxiation and his family members told TNM that he was 17 years old. However, an FIR registered at Commercial Street police station identifies him as a 20-year-old.
Police officials are yet to make an arrest in the case but an FIR was registered against managers, trustees and other responsible persons of SSBS Jain Trust.
A protest was held on Monday in which workers, activists and citizens came together to register their dissent. Siddappa belonged to the Adi Karnataka community, categorised as a Scheduled Caste in Karnataka.