“On 2 July morning, a welder who works at the same construction site came to my jhuggi and told me that my brother was lying on the floor in the basement. I ran to the site and saw that my brother was in an unconscious state and was entangled with electricity wires," reads the FIR filed by the Delhi police in relation to the death of an 18-year-old labourer at the Lok Nayak (LNJP) hospital on Sunday, 2 July.
The FIR, accessed by The Quint, has been filed at central Delhi's IP Estate police station, and is based on a complaint submitted by the victim's cousin Prince. The deceased, identified as Sujeet Mahato -- a resident of Samastipur district in Bihar -- died early Sunday morning, allegedly due to electrocution.
A new block for a pediatric centre is being built at the LNJP hospital and is under the Public Works Department (PWD), LNJP Hospital’s medical director Dr Suresh Kumar told The Indian Express.
The Quint reached out to PWD Chief Engineer (Health) SK Srivastava but he refused to comment on the matter. This is the third death in the city in a week due to electrocution. Here's what the FIR states:
Third Death Due To Electrocution In Delhi In A Week
In the FIR, Prince alleged that his brother died due to the “negligence” of the company and due to “the lack of safety equipment,” and demanded that legal action be taken against the officials of the company.
The FIR has been filed under sections 287 (negligent conduct with respect to machinery) and 304 A/34 (causing death by negligence) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).
This is the third death due to electrocution in Delhi in a span of a week. On 24 June, a 35-year-old teacher Sakshi Ahuja was electrocuted outside the New Delhi Railway Station (NDLS) as she was about to embark on a holiday with her family. The next day, a 17-year-old died due to an electric shock in Taimoor Nagar, located in Delhi's New Friends Colony.
The incidents have led to a political spat between Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader Atishi and Delhi Lieutenant Governor VK Saxena with the former accusing the latter of “inaction” in the cases.
‘Were Asked To Continue Working, Not Worry About the Electric Current’
In the FIR, Prince said that he and Sujeet were working with Swadeshi Civil Infrastructure and used to help with “dewatering.” The two lived in shanties at the construction site itself.
“My duty was from 8 am to 8pm on 1 July while my cousin Sujeet’s shift started at 8 pm on 1 July and had to get over at 8 am on 2 July… After the welder informed me, I rushed to the basement-2 of the building. It was around 7.30 am. When I saw my brother lying there unconscious, entangled in electricity wires, I first turned down the MCB (Miniature Circuit Board). Then I removed the wires around his hand and feet,” claimed Prince in the FIR.
He said by that time more workers had gathered and that he took their help to take Sujeet to the hospital, where he was declared dead on arrival at 9.12 am.
In the FIR, Prince alleged that the open electricity wires had been hanging loose at the construction site for many days, and that he and Sujeet had complained about it to their site project head as well as the contractor.
“We were asked to continue working and not worry about the electric current,” Prince claimed in the FIR. He added that they were not given any safety equipment such as rubber gloves, rubber boots or helmet despite asking for them repeatedly.
“A worker had died like this last year too,” Prince alleged in the FIR.
‘No Warning Against Danger, Exposed Wires’
In the investigation, the police said that they found exposed wires at the construction site where Sujeet was working and there was water all around. They found that the wires had current and that some of them were submerged in water.
“There was no warning sign or danger notice. No safety equipment has been given to workers who work with electricity and there is no alarm signal for protection against electrocution. As a result, Sujeet was electrocuted,” the investigating team found.
To ensure the safety of the workers and keep the construction site out of reach for the public, it was sealed using a yellow tape, the police said. The Electric Inspector of the Delhi government has been alerted to inspect the area.
A team from Forensic Science Laboratory (FSL), Rohini, also visited the site and said that exposed wires are a safety hazard to the workers at the construction site as well as the public around and added that exposed wires could be fatal.
‘Three Dead In A Week Due To Electrocution, Yet LG Sleeping’: Atishi
After three incidents of people dying due to electrocution came to light, Delhi PWD Minister Atishi wrote to the Lieutenant Governor VK Saxena demanding “strictest action against officers guilty of negligence” in the cases.
“Despite these accidents, you are silent, you are not taking any action. Under the black ordinance of the central government, the power to act against officials falls on you. Three people have died, yet you are sleeping,” she said in the letter.
LG VK Saxena has not commented on the matter yet.