The National Human Rights Commission on Monday issued a notice to the chief secretary of Delhi and the Delhi Police commissioner after five men died while cleaning a sewer at a residential complex in the Capital on Sunday.
The police said a preliminary investigation indicated that the workers were not wearing any safety equipment while cleaning the tank at the Phase 2 section of DLF Capital Greens residential complex in Moti Nagar in West Delhi. The Aam Aadmi Party-led Delhi government has ordered an inquiry into the matter.
The human rights panel said it had taken suo motu cognisance of the media reports. It asked for a report on the matter within four weeks.
“The Commission has been emphasising upon the authorities to take strict action to provide safety gear to the workers to avoid such fatal accidents,” NHRC said, adding that the right to life of five people was violated “due to the negligence of the authorities and the contractor concerned”.
The rights body further said: “We would also like to know about the action taken against the authorities responsible in the matter along with measures taken for relief and rehabilitation of the kin of the deceased persons.”
Meanwhile, rights body Dalit Shoshan Mukti Manch has asked for the immediate arrest of those responsible for the death of the workers, PTI reported. The group also demanded Rs 1 crore compensation for the victims’ families and a government job to a family member.
The police identified the deceased as Vishal, Sarfaraz, Pankaj, Raja and Umesh. Deputy Commissioner of Police (West) Monika Bhardwaj said four of the victims were brought dead at the Acharya Bhikshu Hospital while the fifth was taken to Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital where he died.
A sister of Vishal, one of the victims, claimed that his job responsibilities did not include cleaning the sewer tank. Another worker at the residential complex accused the service firm JLL of forcing housekeeping staff to perform other tasks.