Deceased Tusheswar Sarmah

Tinsukia: The death of a pedestrian after falling into an open drain in Assam’s Dibrugarh, chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal’s home town, has led to an outrage on social media.

The body of the deceased, later identified as Tusheswar Sarmah, a resident of Mohanaghat under Dibrugarh police station, was found in a municipality drain near Indian oil petrol pump at Amolapatty in the town on January 20.

Taking out his anger, a local resident Rahul Rahman posted on Facebook: “People of Assam see the harsh reality of the Municipality of Dibrugarh! This incident took place at Amolapatty, Dibrugarh, yesterday. Due to the negligence of the Municipality this sad incident took place. This person was walking along the footpath when he fell into an “overlooked” manhole (due to lack of a slab on the footpath) which ultimately resulted in his demise. This is what happens when the municipality does not do it’s work properly! Pure negligence and laziness of the Dibrugarh Municipality. Absolute shame on them!

Local resident Rahul Rahman’s post on Facebook

The post has been shared over 92 times till the time of filing this news report.

Another Facebook user, Rituraj Sarmah, a superintendent engineer with Oil India Limited (according to his online profile) commented on Rahman’s post: “Unfortunately he is my Borta… What to say… Such incidents are repetitive and the ‘saddest part’ is there is no accountability.”

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Another FB account in the name of Kishore Jyoti Baruah Jaantu commented on Rahman’s post: “I already posted about the open drains on 19 th november where this lady fell in the open drain. But no action was being taken.” He had pasted a screenshot of his November 19 post along with his comment.

“Open manholes, open drains, damaged drain covers and apathetic municipal administrations… Same story in most of our towns and cities!” Deepankar Gogoi reacted to the post.

Speaking with EastMojo, Dibrugarh additional superintendent of police Padmanabh Baruah said, “On January 20, a male unidentified dead body was found near Amolapatty Indian Oil petrol pump lying in municipality drain.”

“According to the statement of nearby witnesses, it is presumed that the deceased might be moving on the footpath, and due to darkness, he fell down into the drain, which resulted in his death,” said Baruah, adding, “We have registered an unnatural death case.”

Baruah said that the dead body was pulled out from the drain after which an inquest was carried in presence of executive magistrate before sending the dead body to Assam Medical College and Hospital for post mortem. During inquiry, the deceased has been identified as Tusheswar Sarmah after which his relatives have been informed.”

Baruah added that on January 21, his relatives arrived at the police outpost and verified his particluars.

EastMojo took the allegation of negligence, which claimed life of a pedestrian, to the Dibrugarh SP Sreejith T to find out the action being taken by police.

Sreejith T said: “We are investigating the matter and if there are complaints of negligence we shall take a criminal case. However, so far not a single complaint of any negligence has come to police.”

“We simply cannot file a suo motu case for criminal negligence,” Sreejith T responded to a question by EastMojo. EastMojo had asked why the police have not filed a suo motu case for the alleged negligence that claimed the life of a pedestrian.

In November last year, the state government on Monday “dissolved” the Dibrugarh Municipal Board disqualifing all the 22 ward commissioners after the district adminsitration enquiry and the report of director of Municipal administration blew the whistle on the corruption and irregularities goings-on in the civic body dominated by BJP.

The residents have demanded accountability and better safety arrangements so that such incidents do not recur in the future.

EastMojo is trying to get in touch with the grief-stricken family. Attempts to speak to Rahul Rahman and deputy commissioner of Dibrugarh Pallav Gopal Jha turned futile.

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