Despite rescuers working through a night and a day to rescue six-year-old Kaveri, they reached her too late.
At 11 40 pm on Monday, over 48 hours after the little girl fell into a 25-ft open borewell, in Zunjarwad village of Athani taluk in Belagavi, rescuers managed to dig around the spot she had fallen into.
But by the time they got to Kaveri, it was too late for the little girl. Kaveri's body was taken out at 11.41pm on Monday by the NDRF personnel.
Belagavi Deputy Commissioner N Jayaram said, "After almost three days of rescue operation, we weren't able to save Kaveri. The police are looking out for the landowner who had left the borewell open. Justice will be served for the child."
"We worked tirelessly, day and night to save the child. Every minute that we dug into the ground, we prayed for her to be alive. The government will give compensation to the family but no matter how much money is given, it will not be equivalent to the life of a little innocent girl," added Jayaram
According to reports, she died of asphyxiation before she was pulled out.
She was playing with her friends when she slipped, fell and got stuck in the borewell.
Rescue officials had been trying to rescue her from Sunday and had tried building tunnels. She was also being supplied with oxygen. Many attempts were also made to pull her out of the well with a hook but to no avail.
Kaveriās uncle Sadashiva had told TNM tearfully that he wanted all open borewells in the area to be identified and capped so that no one elseās family would have to go through what they did.
The borewell owner, Shankarappa has absconded and the police are looking out for him. A case of criminal negligence has been filed against Shankarappa.
Nearly 27 hours of operation the rescuers were able to complete hardly 50% of the work when they hit a hard rock on the surface making the rescue operation even more difficult.
"We donāt know how long it may take to rescue Kaveri. We expect to reach her within a couple of hours,ā said Belagavi SP, Ravikanthe Gowda.
Four JCBs and three Hitachi machines are being used to dig a parallel line but the hard rock is creating hurdles in the operation. Nearly 500 personnel, including a five-member National Disaster Rescue Force (NDRF) from Pune, headed by SK Tiwari, a state disaster management team headed by Basavaraj Hiremath, seven firefighters, 20 soldiers from the Maratha Light Infantry Regimental Centre, members of the Raichur Gold Mines, Hescom and police officials are engaged in rescuing Kaveri.
Kaveri's accident occurred despite 2014 regulations specifically drafted to prevent such cases. This law required borewells to be properly registered and abandoned borewells capped to prevent accidents. However, Kaveri's case shows that these rules have not been diligently implemented.
Meanwhile, Karnataka Revenue Minister Kagodu Thimappa has announced that Kaveri's family will be compensated. However, the minister did not announce the amount that would be allotted. He also said that stringent action will be taken against those responsible for the incident.