Techie’s death in Bengaluru underpass: Lokayukta issues notice to 8 officials

Taking suo motu cognisance of the death of a 23-year-old techie, who died after being trapped inside a vehicle in a flooded underpass near Bengaluru’s K R Circle on May 21, the Karnataka Lokayukta has issued notices to eight Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) officials, including the chief commissioner.

Lokayukta chief B S Patil has given the officials time until June 5, 2023, to submit their statements on the matter. The officials include the zonal commissioner of the east zone, executive engineer of the Shivajinagar division, assistant executive engineer of the Sampangiramnagar division, assistant engineer of the Sampangiramnagar division, executive engineer of the stormwater drain (SWD) division, assistant executive engineer of the SWD sub-division, and assistant engineer of the SWD sub-division.

Patil has also referred the case to the inspector general of police (IGP) within the Lokayukta’s office for investigation and submission of a comprehensive report. The IGP has the option to seek assistance from the technical wing of the Lokayukta.

Batula Bhanurekha, an engineer at Infosys hailing from Andhra Pradesh, was on a one-day tour of Bengaluru with her mother, brother, and three others on May 21 when their MUV got stranded in the flooded underpass near K R Circle. While the remaining occupants managed to escape, Bhanurekha died. Her brother Sandeep and the cab driver Harish broke the vehicle’s window to free themselves.

The Halasuru Gate police have named the car driver and BBMP officials in the FIR and registered a case under Section 304 (a) (death due to negligence) of the Indian Penal Code.