Police in the District of Katni in Madhya Pradesh State, Central India, have arrested a construction driver and road worker for culpable homicide after they unknowingly buried a 45-year-old Indian man alive and built a road over him after the fell down a hole.
Unlucky farm labourer Latori Barman suffered perhaps one of the most gruesome deaths imaginable having drunkenly fallen into the manhole.
Barman was walking home from a village fair alone after having a fight with his wife on Friday 18 September. On his journey, he decided to go into a liquor shop to stock up on alcohol, which was the last time anyone saw the man alive. Minutes later, Lal fell into the hole.
“It was pitch dark. He didn’t see that crater,” said Katni’s police chief, Gourav Rajput.
‘It was dark and there were no warning signs,’ another officer on the scene reported. ‘He would have been walking in an inebriated condition when he fell into the pit between Udlana and Hata village and lost consciousness. The pit was uncovered for some time now. Traffic had been restricted on the stretch as the pit occupied more than half of the road making vehicular traffic and walking risky.’
On the night of the 18th, Mrs Barman returned home to find the house was still locked and there was no sign of her husband, so she gathered neighbours to help her search for Barman but to no avail.
Unfortunately construction workers failed to notice Barman, who is thought to have been knocked unconscious after his fall, the following morning and poured molten tar into the hole before flattening the surface with a heavy roller.
“Workers must not have noticed him while filling the pothole with bitumen,” the officer continued. Barman apparently died due to suffocation following his burial.
It’s thought that Barman may never have been discovers if locals had not later noticed his arm protruding from the ground. Locals rushed to the police station demanding action and Barman’s body was pulled out of the new road on Monday 21 September, ravaged and barely recognisable.
“His body has been sent for post mortem and further investigation is in process,” says sub-inspector N.P. Chaudhary.
The event later caused huge amounts of controversy, with many villagers protesting on the roads and bringing traffic to a halt in an attempt to raise awareness. The protest was only soothed when police officers promised the pedestrians that legal action would be taken against the construction company.
District collector Vivek Narwal has stated that Lal’s family will be owed 50,000 Rupees (US$761) in compensation following the horrific event.
However potholes, pits and open sewers are a huge problem throughout India, particularly in large cities such as New Delhi and Mumbai. They are often caused during monsoon season due to bad workmanship and poor building materials. According to official data on road accidents, around 7,700 people are thought to have been killed across India in the last year alone because of defective roads, poor street lighting, government neglect and stray animals.
image via: cnn.