A day after three workers were killed when the roof of an under-construction marriage hall collapsed in Kengeri Satellite Town, police on Tuesday questioned the close associates of a seer, the prime suspect who is said to be absconding.
A special team has been formed to trace Sachidananda Swami of Ekadala Bilva Bande Mutt, and Jagannath Rao, the engineer of the building, a police source said on the condition of anonymity. The seer allegedly fled the scene after the incident.
A police team went to the mutt’s branch in Magadi taluk but there was no sign of the seer, a senior officer said. In addition, police are said to have visited Rao’s house and questioned his family members about his whereabouts.
D C Rajappa, DCP (West), asserted that the police had taken the case “seriously”.
Stringent action would be taken against those found guilty, he said. The fact that a case of culpable homicide not amounting to murder under Section 304 of the IPC had been slapped on the suspects was proof enough that investigators had taken the “lapses” seriously, Rajappa maintained. A person found guilty under this Section is punishable with life imprisonment.
Police did not invoke Section 304 A (causing death due to negligence). A suspect is punished only with imprisonment up to two years under this Section.
Senior officials of the Labour Department also visited the spot and registered a suo moto case against the mutt management and the seer for lack of safety measures for labourers at the construction site.
Debris being cleared
Meanwhile, the debris at the accident site is being cleared. The hydraulic crane brought to the spot could not be used due to the topography of the structure and the surrounding area, said rescue workers who have been trying to cut through the debris.
As debris was being cleared, another beam below collapsed under the concrete’s weight. Experts are to visit the building on Wednesday and decide on the course of action.
According to Rajappa, almost 80 per cent of the debris was cleared and “no more bodies” were found. By late afternoon, the machine used to cut through the debris developed a technical snag and the operation had to be called off. The operation would resume on Wednesday morning, he added.
Of the 11 injured, Dinesh, 26, from Koppal, who had an iron rod pierced through his right chest and removed after a surgery, is being treated at the Rajarajeshwari Hospital. Others were discharged on Monday night.
Among the four suspects, two contractors were arrested on Monday.