Karnataka Lokayukta on Wednesday, November 22 took suo motu cognisance of electrocution of a 23-year-old woman and her nine-month-old baby in the city and issued notices to seven officers in this regard. The horrific incident had taken place on a pavement used regularly by people.
On November 19, Soundarya and her infant daughter Suvikasha were burnt alive after she accidentally stepped on a snapped electric wire while walking on the footpath on Whitefield Main Road, located 100 meters from the Bescom office.
The notice has been issued to the Additional Chief Secretary of Energy department, Managing Director of the Bengaluru Electricity Supply Company (Bescom) and others.
Lokayukta Justice BS Patil has sought a complete report regarding the tragedy in two weeks. The case has been registered under the provisions of the Section 7(1)(B) of the Karnataka Lokayukta Act and others.
The public had expressed outrage over the incident and demanded stringent action against the negligent Bescom officers. Authorities had initially taken the officers into custody and claimed that they were arrested.
Bescom executive engineer Sriram, assistant executive engineer Subramanya, assistant engineer Chetan, joint engineer Rajanna, and station operator Manjunath were arrested by the Kadugodi police over negligence resulting in the death of the mother and baby.
Reportedly, even an hour after the tragedy, the authorities had not arrived at the scene. It is also alleged that the wire had snapped on the pavement on Saturday night.
Soundarya was returning home in Bengaluru with her 9-month-old daughter and husband Santhosh Kumar after celebrating Diwali in Tamil Nadu when she stepped on the snapped 11 kV electric wire on the pavement. Both were burnt alive. Even as Santhosh tried to save them, he also received an electric shock and fell unconscious. Later, he said that instead of helping, the public was busy recording the tragedy on their mobile phones.
The Kadugodi police have registered a case under IPC Section 304A and are investigating the matter. The government has announced Rs 5 lakh compensation to the family.