A game of cricket proved fatal for a five-year-old boy, after he fell into and drowned in a rajakaluve (storm water drain) on Friday in the Varthur Police Station limits, Bengaluru.
Shameer, son of a migrant couple from Bengal working as rag pickers in the city, was playing cricket at around 12.30 on Friday afternoon with two of his friends in the Munekolalu slum in Doddanekundi. When their ball fell into the drain, Shameer went to retrieve it, but accidentally fell in himself.
He was washed away to a distance of about 100m from the spot where he fell in, where he got stuck in silt. Although he was brought out and rushed to the nearest hospital, he was declared brought dead by doctors.
â€śWhile playing, the ball fell into the rajakaluve. Shameer slipped through the fencing and fell,â€ť a police official told The Times of India.
Police have registered a case of unnatural death, but are not contemplating charges of negligence, as they believe that there was adequate fencing to the drain and it was a restricted area.
â€śThe incident was an accident and there is no negligence on the part of any authorities. Though the drain was fenced with a safety wall, the boy climbed the wall and accidentally fell into the drain. Even his parents were not willing to file any case, but we have taken up an unnatural death case in this regard,â€ť a police official told Deccan Chronicle.
Shameerâ€™s body was handed over to the family after postmortem.
However, a resident of the area alleged negligence by the civic authorities.
â€śIt is a remote area and is occupied by slum dwellers and so the BBMP officials neglected the locality. I think some safety measures should be taken around the drain,â€ť a resident of the area told The New Indian Express.
Just 10 days ago, in a similar incident in Kengeri, a seven-year-old boy died after slipping into a storm water drain, on the edge of which he had gone to defecate. In that case, local residents had alleged that they had pointed out the safety hazard of the easily accessible rajakaluve to the authorities, but to no avail. Only after Rakeshâ€™s death, BBMP officials belatedly initiated measures to load mud on either side of the rajakaluve to cut off access to it.