Bannur drowning incident: ‘Officials, contractors were negligent’ | Mysuru News

Mysuru: The Karnataka Commission for Protection of Child Rights (KSCPCR) has sought a detailed report into the tragic death of the children of labourers in Ballari.
Rohit, Sanjay Kumar and Kaveri, aged 2 to 4 years, drowned in a pond in Ankanahalli, Bannur hobli, T Narasipur taluk on September 22 when their parents were at work in a sugarcane field.
KSCPCR chairman Anthony Sebastin told TOI that the commission, following the tragedy, did a spot inspection and investigated the matter. “We have found lapses on the part of officials in ensuring safety measures when a large number of children are present at a place,” he said.
The commission will issue direction to departments concerned to invoke specific provisions of law and bring those responsible for the death of children, the chairman added.
KSCPCR member ML Parashuram explained that their investigation has revealed that the labourers were hired by a factory to harvest sugarcane crops. Nearly 900 workers had arrived from Ballari alone and were working in fields in Bannur hobli. “About 80 children, including 40 school-going kids below the age of 14 years, had also arrived with their parents, according to our assessment,” he added.
The commission observed that the labourers— mostly from scheduled castes and tribes— were kept in an unhygienic condition and were living in tarpaulin sheds erected in revenue lands at five different locations. Electricity connection was given by laying live wires on the ground thus exposing children to danger, while potable water was not arranged for the families.
“Officers of all departments concerned including CESC, education, revenue, police, panchayath raj and health have failed in their duties in protecting the interest of children. A meeting was held with officers concerned during the visit. A report has been sought from deputy tahsildar of Bannur region with regard to migration of labourers and those engaged in bringing and providing them work and shelter,” stated the member.

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