Two officers attached to the Bengaluru Electricity Supply Company (Bescom) were arrested, but released the same day by the Karnataka Police in connection with the electric transformer blast case in which a father and daughter riding a scooter were burnt to death in Bengaluru’s Manganahalli on March 23.
The arrested persons, identified as Dinesh, an Assistant Engineer and Mahantesh, a junior engineer, were both working for Bescom. The police arrested them on Monday and released them on station bail by the evening.
The family of the victims and eyewitnesses have alleged gross negligence on the part of Bescom authorities. Though the local residents had lodged a complaint regarding the oil leakage from the electric transformer the staff allegedly turned a blind eye resulting in the tragic mishap.
The department has ordered an inquiry into the incident following the incident. One of the accused officers, Dinesh, was transferred to the division a month ago. The locals said that the complaint regarding the electric transformer was given two days ago through the helpline. They have also called up the authorities after noticing fire in the transformer on the day of occurrence of the tragedy.
The police investigation has shown gross negligence on the part of the officers as being the reason behind the tragedy. If the complaint was taken seriously and addressed, the tragedy could have been avoided, say police officers.
The police investigations have also revealed the negligence shown by the Bescom helpline (1912) staff. After the complaint was filed by the locals, the helpline staff failed to escalate the complaint to the notice of the concerned higher ups. The officers came to know about it only after the blast occurred. The police are now gathering information about the staff of the helpline to initiate legal proceedings.
Shivaraj (55) and his daughter Chaitanya (19), were burnt to death while riding a scooter as the electric transformer situated on the roadside exploded in broad daylight. Father died a few hours later after being admitted to the hospital and daughter succumbed the next day. Both were returning home on the scooter after booking a convention centre for Chaitanya’s engagement ceremony. The deceased Chaitanya was born 15 years after the marriage of Shivraj.
Following orders by the Minister for Cooperation and local MLA S.T. Somashekar, the Jnanabharati police had lodged an FIR and took up the investigation.
The electric transformer had blasted suddenly and unfortunately, the victim father and daughter were travelling very close to the electric transformer. The father had slowed down the scooter to cross a road hump at the time of the blast, the police said.
After the blast, oil from the electric transformer sprayed over the victims and both sustained fatal burn injuries. The impact of the blast was such that the scooter on which victims travelled was also burnt.