The accused have been booked under relevant sections of SC/ST Prevention of Atrocities Act and Prohibition of Manual Scavenging and Rehabilitation Act.

A manhole with the lid removedRepresentational image
news Crime Tuesday, December 21, 2021 - 12:58

Three staffers working at the Chinmaya Mission Hospital in Bengaluru have been booked on charges of forcing a Dalit employee to clean a manhole and unclog sewers at the premises of the hospital, police said on Tuesday, December 21. The hospital housekeeping supervisor D Raja, Gilbert and the administrator have been booked under relevant sections of the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989 and Prohibition of Manual Scavenging and Rehabilitation Act, 2013.

The action was taken based on a complaint of Karnataka Samata Sainik Dal and Madhusudhana KN, Assistant Director at the Social Welfare Department on behalf of 53-year-old Mala Daivadeenam, who was forced to clean the manhole. Daivadeenam is a permanent employee and has been working at the hospital for 21 years. Daivadeenam was asked to lower himself into the manhole and clear sewers. When he refused, he was threatened with termination of his services by the accused persons, authorities said.

Daivadeenam had to unclog the manhole though he was at risk. Later, he approached the Samata Sainik Dal and a complaint was lodged at the Halasuru police station in Bengaluru.

In another incident that came to light on Monday, December 20, Madhu (27), a 'safai karmachari' (cleaner) fell sick and died at the hospital after cleaning a manhole in Periyapatna of Mysuru district on Monday, December 20. Three civic workers, including Madhu, had worked in that manhole and all of them fell ill.

Madhu is survived by wife and two children. After a protest was staged before the District Commissioner's office, authorities asked the wife to submit a memorandum asking for a government job and also assured them of compensation.

Earlier, in October, three workers were allegedly made to enter a manhole and unclog the sewer by a contractor performing works for the Bangalore Smart City project. The workers were allegedly asked to unclog the sewer after residents had complained that the underground drain passage was blocked.

Read: In the heart of 'Smart City' Bengaluru, 3 workers forced into manual scavenging

With IANS inputs

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