4-year-old boy falls into septic tank, dies; FIR filed, inquiry initiated

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Police today lodged a First Information Report (FIR) and started investigation into the death of a four-year-old boy who fell into an under-construction septic tank last week in north Kashmir’s Kupwara district.

Ayan Altaf Bhat slipped into the tank nearly 200 metres away from his home in Kunan village of Trehgam in Kupwara.

The construction of the sanitary complex with septic tank is being carried out under the work plan of 2019 funded under the 14th Finance Commission and Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA). Its deadline was April 2020.

Altaf Ahmad Bhat, father of the deceased child, told The Kashmir Walla that the work on the septic tank always posed a threat to the people especially the children of the village who pass every day through it to reach the Government Primary School.

“They are responsible for the death of my son. Why didn’t they complete the work on time despite being repeatedly intimated about the risk the incomplete tank posed,” Bhat said.

Block Development Officer (BDO) Trehgam told The Kashmir Walla that his office had repeatedly asked the Panchayat department to complete the work on projects including the septic tank.

“In March this year we twice wrote to the field staff and Panchayat to complete the work so that there is no spill-over to next financial year. This office even issued a notice to Sarpanch through the council meeting to complete the pending works,” Hussain said. When contacted, District Development Commissioner (DDC) Kupwara, Imam Din said a FIR has been registered into the case and the investigation has started.

“Action will be taken against those involved in negligence,” the DDC said, adding that directions have also been issued to Assistant Commissioner Development Kupwara for an administrative inquiry.

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