The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Five charged for cable death

Five persons were arrested and charged with criminal negligence on Saturday for the tragic death of Amit Dalmia, six months after the youth was impaled by a metal strip while driving down Camac Street.

All five, including a supervisor of Reliance Engineering Associates, were released on bail.

In May, as the 25-year-old Dalmia drove his Zen, a metal strip used as a protective covering for the optic fibre cables that Reliance Infocomm was laying while networking the city, pierced through the bottom of the car and ripped through his lungs and heart, killing him instantly.

Police on Saturday booked Samir Kumar Dutta and Mrinal Kanti Dutta, two directors of Compen Engineering Private Limited that was laying the cables on behalf of Reliance, two supervisors of the same firm, Dipak Kumar Singh and K.P. Panda, and Pronoy Dhar Chowdhury, a supervisor of Reliance Engineering Associates, for “criminal negligence” and “mischief” in the chargesheet produced today.

“We arrested them from their respective offices this morning and produced them in Bankshal court from where they were released on bail by the magistrate. We charged them under Sections 304A and 427 of the Indian Penal Code,” said Soumen Mitra, deputy commissioner of police, detective department.

Mitra said rules were not followed while laying the cables. “The groove where the cable is placed should have been 150 mm in depth and the metal strip laid at least 80 mm below the road surface. Investigations showed that the strips were laid barely 20 to 40 mm below the road surface,” Mitra said. “This explains why the strip had come unstuck, jutted out dangerously and finally killed Dalmia.”

Amit’s father, Santosh Dalmia, said he was “extremely demoralised”. “I am very upset with the fact that no Reliance Infocomm official, supposed to be responsible for such incidents, was booked. Is this the justice we get for such a tragic death of my son, that too six months after the incident'” he said.

“The delay is due to the detailed investigation we had to make. As soon as we got enough evidence against these five persons, we arrested them,” Mitra said.

He also felt Reliance couldn’t be blamed for the mishap.

“To be frank, the officials of Reliance Infocomm cannot be blamed as they had put down the directives on paper and had taken care to employ a supervisor from their side to inspect the job. It is the supervisor… who is to be blamed and we have booked him,” Mitra added.

Amit’s brother Vishal indicated they might move court to get “justice”.

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