3 booked for forcing Dalit employee to clean manhole in K’taka

Bengaluru: Three staffers working at a reputed hospital in Bengaluru have been booked for forcing a Dalit employee to clean the manhole to unclog sewers, police said on Tuesday.

The hospital housekeeping supervisor D. Raja, Gilbert and the administrator have been booked under Section 3(1) (J) of the SC/ST Prevention of Atrocities Act -1989 and sections 7,8,9 of the Prohibition of Manual Scavenging and Rehabilitation Act -2013.

The action had been taken as per the complaint of Karnataka Samata Sainik Dal and Madhusudhana K.N., assistant director at the social welfare department on behalf of 53-year-old victim Daivadeenam.

The victim is a permanent employee and has been working at the hospital for 21 years. Daivadeenam was asked to lower himself into the manhole and clear sewers. When he refused, he was threatened with termination of his services by the accused persons.

The management had also told him that it was his duty to carry out manual scavenging. Daivadeenam had to unclog the manhole though he was at risk. Later, he approached Samata Sainik Dal and a complaint was lodged at the Halasuru police station in Bengaluru.

Meanwhile, Madhu (27), a ‘safai karmachari’ (cleaner) fell sick and died at the hospital after cleaning a manhole in Periypatna of Mysuru district on Monday. Three civic workers, including Madhu, had worked in that manhole and all of them fell ill.

The deceased is survived by a wife and two children. After the protest was staged before the District Commissioner’s office, authorities asked the wife to submit a memorandum asking for a government job and also assured of compensation.