Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh today condoled the death of a two-year-old boy in a borewell accident, and said that he has ordered the closure of all such open structures across the state with immediate effect. The announcement came amid allegations by opposition parties that the government had botched up rescue operations.
"Very sad to hear about the tragic death of young Fatehveer. I pray that Waheguru grants his family the strength to bear this huge loss. Have sought reports from all district collectors regarding any open borewell, so that such terrible accidents can be prevented in the future," he tweeted soon after news of the tragic death emerged.
Very sad to hear about the tragic death of young Fatehveer. I pray that Waheguru grants his family the strength to bear this huge loss. Have sought reports from all DCs regarding any open bore well so that such terrible accidents can be prevented in the future.— Capt.Amarinder Singh (@capt_amarinder) June 11, 2019
The boy, Fatehveer Singh, spent nearly 109 hours inside the 150-foot-deep borewell in Sangrur district's Bhagwanpura village before rescue workers pulled him out this morning. He was taken to the Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research in Chandigarh, where doctors pronounced him dead.
Shiromani Akali Dal leader Sukhbir Badal blamed the ruling Congress for the child's death. "This is a daylight murder of the most inhuman & beastly kind. There is no such thing as a government in Punjab. When the state is seething with pain & anger, CM is busy in leisure & pleasure in cooler climes. The govt remained absent as the child lay dying. Unforgivable," he tweeted.
In a previous tweet, he had slammed Amarinder Singh for "holidaying" in Himachal Pradesh while the tragedy was unfolding in Punjab.
Please clarify @capt_amarinder why u r holidaying in Himachal & tweeting after 4 days that u r monitoring #Fatehveer rescue operation.Why didn't you come down from hills & supervise the operation? Shame young boy's life endangered by your failure to call in civil & army experts.— Sukhbir Singh Badal (@officeofssbadal) June 10, 2019
Aam Aadmi Party lawmaker Bhagwant Mann alleged that the Amarinder Singh-led government had delayed launching the rescue operation. The child's relatives, for their part, accused the state authorities of negligence. "They did not use proper technique to rescue him early on. Trial and error methods were adopted for days. Where were the modern methods and technology they keep talking about?" one of them was quoted as saying by news agency PTI.
According to reports, the boy was playing near his house last Thursday when he accidentally stepped on a piece of cloth covering the mouth of the seven-inch-wide borewell. Stuck at a depth of 125 feet, officials were unsuccessful in providing him with food or water.
An operation launched to rescue 15 people trapped in an illegal "rathole mine" in Meghalaya last December went on for nearly three months before being called off. Only two decomposed bodies were recovered.
(With inputs from ANI)