|Residents burn tyres and block Mango-Pardih Road on Thursday to protest against Mohammed Imtiaz’s death. (Bhola Prasad)
A six-year-old boy was electrocuted in Mango when a poorly maintained JSEB wire fell on him on Thursday morning.
The incident sparked angry protests, with local residents blocking the Mango-Pardih Road for more than two hours. They also forced the state power board to announce a compensation of Rs 1.5 lakh. An FIR was lodged in the case later in the evening, but police were yet to act against power officials till the filing of this report.
Little Mohammed Imtiaz was a resident of Road No. 13 in Mango’s Jawaharnagar neighbourhood. He was playing with his friends near his house around 9.30am, when the overhead wire snapped and fell on him. As he writhed in pain, his friends screamed for help.
Imtiaz’s parents and neighbours came rushing. They managed to remove the wire with a stick and rushed the child to MGM Medical College and Hospital, a 20-minute drive from the accident site. Doctors on emergency duty, however, declared him brought dead.
As the news spread, hundreds of people came out on the roads. Some residents who closely saw the wire — installed and maintained by JSEB’s Mango substation — said it had become rusty because of poor upkeep.
An angry mob, led by local JVM leader Firoz Khan, set up a road blockade at 10.30am. They burnt tyres and brought traffic to an abrupt halt.
Police reached the spot within 15 minutes and summoned JSEB officials.
Subdivisional officer (electrical) of the power board B. Marandi inspected the overhead wiring along Road No. 13. He consulted his seniors and, subsequently, announced a compensation of Rs 1.5 lakh for the bereaved family.
“The wire that fell on the child was a neutral wire. But, even such wires gain excessive power in an unbalanced circuit, which is quite possible because of several electrical appliances being run together. Since the mishap was caused by our negligence, we will pay damages. I have already recommended the matter to our headquarters in Ranchi,” he said.
Marandi also promised to get the overhead wiring across Mango inspected and repaired at the earliest. The blockade was lifted around 12.30pm after JSEB officials said a report had been sent to Ranchi to release the money soon.
Under the law, death caused by negligence not amounting to culpable homicide is a punishable offence. Advocate Sudhir Kumar of East Singhbhum district court said that the JSEB’s fault was clear in the case. “Such negligence can invite imprisonment up to seven years under Section 304 of the IPC,” he added.
Mango police inspector Himansu Chandra Majhi admitted that Imtiaz’s death was caused by JSEB’s negligence and the child’s father Imanul Ansari had lodged an FIR in the evening. Majhi added that they had registered an unnatural death case, but were yet to make arrests.