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Owner of Odisha maize mill where minor boy lost hand sent to jail

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Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Nabarangpur, Nov 15:

A local court in Odisha’s district headquarters town of Nabarangpur today refused bail to Lalan Mehta, the proprietor of the maize processing mill where a class V student lost his left hand on Wednesday while working in the mill, and sent him to judicial custody till November 19.

Debi Singh Gouda, the minor boy who lost his left hand after the accident
Debi Singh Gouda, the minor boy who lost his left hand after the accident

Mehta, who was absconding since news broke out on the accident, was detained by Kodinga police yesterday for interrogation. He was arrested today and forwarded to court.

The district administration had lodged an FIR against the mill owner at the Kasagumuda police station Thursday.

Debi Singh Gouda, a class V student of Pujariguda upgraded upper primary school in Ekamba panchayat under Kasagumuda block in Nabarangpur district, along with eleven of his friends, had gone to work at a maize processing mill in his village owned by Mehta after bunking school on Wednesday to earn a daily wage of Rs 50.

While deseeding corn, Debi Singh’s left hand had got sucked inside the machine leaving him critically injured.

Debi Singh was first rushed to the district headquarters hospital at Nabarangpur and was later shifted to the district hospital at Koraput. Doctors at the Koraput district hospital had to amputate Debi Singh’s hand as it was badly damaged in the accident.

Labour minister Prafulla Mallick has ordered an inquiry into the tragic incident and had assured to do whatever was needed for the child.

On instructions from the State Legal Aid Cell the district sessions judge and additional district judge visited the Koraput district headquarters hospital on Thursday and spoke to him and his family members and inquired about his health from the doctors.

A three-member team, headed by sub-collector Parikshit Sethi, District labour officer (DLO) and an officer from childline visited Pujariguda on Thursday and discussed the issue with the family members of Debi Singh and visited the spot of the accident. The team also recorded the statement of Sarbeswar Jena, the headmaster of the school.

The district administration has paid an ex-gratia of Rs 10,000 from the district Red Cross fund apart from the Rs 5,000 granted from the chief minister’s relief fund (CMRF) to the family members of the boy.

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