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Electrocution Deaths

Sentinel Digital DeskBy : Sentinel Digital Desk

  |  12 July 2017 12:00 AM GMT

Our civilization attaches great importance today to the use of electricity in virtually all conceivable human activities. In fact, one of the important indicators of development today is the per capita consumption of electricity by the citizens of a country. However, the fact remains that electricity must be used with due care, and the safety of users must be the prime concern of those entrusted with the generation and supply of electricity. Unfortutely, there are clear indications that this has not been happening in Assam, since there have been as many as 1,100 deaths due to electrocution in Assam in 10 years. In fact, there have been five recent electrocution deaths within a month or so in Guwahati alone. What is most deplorable is that in ten years there have been no reports of any punishments having been meted out to those responsible for the deaths due to electrocution. The very fact that 1,100 deaths could have been caused by electrocution in a State over a period of 10 years is a clear proof of the inefficiency and negligence of the employees concerned. There is no parallel anywhere else in the civilized world of the administration itself being directly or indirectly responsible for the deaths of 1,100 people in ten years due to inefficiency and carelessness. And yet, not a single employee or official connected with the task of supplying electricity has been either charged with causing the deaths of 1,100 people or even suspended for their irresponsible discharge of duties. Puru Gupta, Chairman of the Assam Power Distribution Company Limited (APDCL), might wax eloquent about the gravity of the problem and the “multi-pronged strategy” that is supposed to have been devised to address it, but he has clearly ignored the duty of the APDCL to accept responsibility for 1,100 deaths. In any civilized society, the most important duty of the government would be to fix responsibility for the deaths and to discharge the culpable ones from their jobs and then to initiate legal proceedings against them to determine their punishment. This is where our government has failed us completely. It has merely demonstrated that people in the administration responsible even for 1,100 deaths could go totally unpunished—as though 1,100 deaths due to electrocution is nothing to be worried about. It is as though being government employees makes people immune to punishment even for the most serious crimes. It is important that irresponsible individuals unconcerned about 1,100 deaths must not be allowed to continue in their jobs during the pendency of their trials. They should not have the means of being able to destroy evidence that establishes their involvement in these deaths. In any other civilized country, everyone responsible for the deaths of 1,100 people would have been punished according to the provisions of the law at least for manslaughter. No one in the APDCL has even been suspended or discharged for these deaths. This shows that the government gives greater importance to the jobs of the people responsible for these deaths than the loss of 1,100 lives that they are responsible for having caused. This is also a case of officers of the APDCL presuming to be judges by keeping 1,100 killings beyond the notice of the Judiciary. This constitutes a shocking attempt to exonerate people responsible for 1,100 deaths without even a proper trial. One cannot think of a greater miscarriage of justice than such irresponsible acts of compliance with large-scale killings.

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