MYSURU: Two weeks after a panchayat development officer (PDO) and gram panchayat president allegedly forced a pourakarmika to go down an overflowing manhole to clear it, police on Sunday arrested the officer from Bengaluru.
KR police in Mysuru managed to trace the PDO Anand at Rajarajeshwarinagar, Bengaluru, on Sunday where he was hiding after a case was lodged against him along with Chamundi Hills gram panchayat president Geetha for allegedly forcing the civic worker to enter the manhole. A complaint was registered against Geetha and Anand by social welfare department assistant director D G Gurushanthappa at KR police station, Mysuru.
In his complaint, the social welfare officer said on June 6, the GP president had directed pourakarmikas Ganesh R and Cheluva to clear the block in the manhole which was overflowing near her house in Tavarekatte grama. Instead of using machines to clear the clogged manhole, Geetha allegedly forced the pourakarmikas to enter it.
A case under sections 8 and 9 of The Prohibition of Employment as Manual Scavengers and their Rehabilitation Act 2013 was registered against the GP president and PDO, and a case was registered against GP president under column 43 (a) and 48 under Karnataka Gram Swaraj and Panchayat Raj Act, 1993.
Zilla panchayat CEO P Shivashankar told TOI that after the incident, the state government suspended Anand while issued a show-cause notice to Geetha. “When the officers went to her residence to issue the notice, she was not available. So the notice was pasted on the wall of her house and after taking a photograph, we sent the report to the government for further action,” he said. KR police said Geetha is absconding and they are still trying to trace her.