KARACHI - An FIR has been lodged against K-Electric staff over their alleged negligence due to which a power supply cable fell on an eight-year-old boy and left his both hands crippled.

The victim’s father Muhammad Arif got the case registered at the Site Super Highway Police Station under Clause 337-H (Punishment for hurt by rash or negligent act) against management of KE’s Gadap Division. Although no one was named as accused, the KE staff could be sentenced to three years in jail along with a fine as the clause reads. “Whoever causes hurt by rash or negligent act, other than rash or negligent driving, shall be liable to rash or damage specified for the kind of hurt caused and may also be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to three years as ta'zir.”

“I will knock every possible door through which I can get justice for my son,” said Arif. He vowed that he would go any extent for this purpose. He alleged that the incident took place due to negligence of the power utility, which did not approach them even after announcing the compensation.

Muhammad Umar Khan, 8, got critically injured when an electric wire of 11,000 volts fell on him in Ahsanabad area when he was on his way to market to buy vegetables on August 25. He was immediately shifted the Dr Ruth KM Pfau Civil Hospital Karachi where doctors amputated his both hands (one from shoulder and another from elbow). The boy was treated at burn centre as he had sustained severe burn injuries.

The power utility said the ‘Kunda’ system was responsible for the incident, saying that it was a consequence of the ‘pervasive kunda’ wires in the city.

“We repeatedly disconnected this illegal network and even initiated regulatory action and sought strong government support and rigorous enforcement to curb this menace by ensuring that unplanned settlements, illegal networks and kundas are eliminated so that public safety is not compromised,” the KE spokesperson said in a statement.

She said that the KE once again reiterated its full cooperation to any investigation into the matter and requests relevant authorities' intervention to ensure KE operations in the areas are not disrupted. The power utility also sympathized with the family and announced support for Umar’s current and future medical expenses.

Earlier, Sindh Governor Imran Ismail took notice of the incident and sought report from the authorities concerned. Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf leader Haleem Adil Shaikh said that these sorts of incidents have become a norm due to KE’s negligence. The Jamaat-e-Islami also came down hard on the power utility, as its city chief Hafiz Naeem-ur-Rehman held the KE responsible for disability of 8-year old innocent child and demanded that a criminal case should be registered against the chief executive officer (CEO) and other officials of the department.

“The KE has become a mafia which claims lives of innocent citizens of the metropolis every other day. The power utility had been patronized by some political parties in the past decades,” he added. He reminded that similar sort of incidents took place in August 2017 as well when a seven-year-old Azhan Khaleeq Siddiqui died after being electrocuted.