Compensation for families of boys who drowned

New Delhi, March 6 (IANS) Amid protests from relatives of the four boys who drowned in a flooded pit here, the Delhi government Saturday ordered compensation of Rs.100,000 each for the families of the deceased.

Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit said: ‘We have decided to give the families Rs.1 lakh as compensation. There are four victims. We have to probe the matter and find out how the children drowned there.’

The boys died late Friday after falling into the seven-foot pit dug by the Delhi Jal Board (DJB) to lay a water pipeline in Timaparpur area in north Delhi. The victims were from the nearby Gopalpur village.

Nearly 200-250 villagers blocked the road which connects Delhi to Wazirabad for a couple of hours after the tragedy.

Angry protesters condemned the DJB’s and the government’s negligence and for being insensitive towards the public.

‘Nearly 60-70 policemen baton-charged the villagers without notice. Police were insensitive to the trauma that the victims families were facing. The grandmother of one of the victims was badly injured in the police brutality and her hand is fractured,’ Rajni Abbi, municipal councillor of the Mukherjee Nagar ward told IANS.

‘None of the DJB officials nor the chief minister, who is the DJB chairperson, has come to check the ground situation and express remorse over the huge tragedy caused by the DJB’s negligence,’ she added.

The four victims were identified as eight-year-old Vikas, seven-year-old Atul, his nine-year-old brother Ritesh, and eight-year-old Narender.

The DJB said it had ordered an inquiry.

‘A team headed by DJB chief engineer will probe what happened and whether there was any negligence. The report will be submitted within two working days (by Tuesday),’ DJB spokesperson Sanjam Cheema told IANS.

Delhi Police has also registered a case of negligence.

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