Protests as live wire on field kills farmer, son
Protests broke out in West Midnapore’s Danton on Friday after a farmer and his son were electrocuted in quick succession on a paddy field.
Dulal Chandra Kar, 56, was reportedly working on his plot of land on Friday afternoon when he touched a high-tension wire that had snapped and fallen on the ground.
When Dulal did not return home for hours, his son Bishnupada, 29, reportedly went to look for him and was ostensibly electrocuted when he tried to revive his father. The bodies were found close to one another a few hours later.
The incident occurred at Dhowrajamua village, where irate residents late on Friday evening took out a protest alleging dereliction on the part of the electricity department.
Villagers claimed the department’s failure to maintain the high-tension wires caused the deaths. The protest prompted cops from Mohanpur police station to rush to the site to control the situation.
“People were angry…. While there were no eyewitnesses, villagers concluded that the wire snapped because of lack of maintenance and resulted in the loss of two lives,” said a police officer.
According to residents, Dulal went to his paddy field, as he did every day, on Friday afternoon and was found on the ground with a wire coiled around his leg, giving the impression that he had tripped. His son’s body lay near him.
“This field is not very far from human settlement. Still, Dulal’s lifeless body went unnoticed for a while owing to the height of the paddy. As his son collapsed at the same spot, passers-by noticed the two bodies and went to investigate,” said resident Manas Das, adding that people switched off a nearby transformer before approaching the bodies.
The prostrate duo were rushed to a hospital in Danton but declared dead on arrival.
The villagers’ anger burst when the bodies arrived in the village in the evening after the autopsies. Officials, including Belda SDPO Samim Biswas, were reportedly heckled.
Debashish Kar, a resident, said: “This high tension had been hanging around for a long time in a dangerous condition. Despite many complaints to the electricity department, no heed was paid. No one noticed when this wire tore nor when it fell on the field, resulting in the tragic death of the father and son.”
Police assured protesters of a probe and suitable action. SPDO Biswas said: “The two bodies were sent for post-mortem to find out the exact cause of death. Complaints of villagers are being looked into.”
Police also inspected the site of the deaths on Saturday morning.
On October 26, a couple died by electrocution near a pond in Morkha village in West Midnapore. Residents said the owner had illegally laid electric wires around the pond to prevent fish theft. The owner, a member of the Trinamul-run panchayat, was arrested.