Body was heavily decomposed, body parts dismembered.
Tiruchirapalli: Two-year-old Sujith Wilson was declared dead at about 2.30 am on Tuesday, about 82 hours since the rescue operations had begun almost immediately after he slipped into the borewell of his father’s cornfield on Friday evening.
The NDRF-SDRF teams that have been toiling through these past couple of days to retrieve the kid alive through multiple plans to reach him even as he kept slipping deeper into the well, finally brought him out in decomposed condition, body parts dismembered.
Announcing the boy’s death to the media, principal secretary Dr. J. Radhakrishnan said at about 2.30 am that the medical team had found, around 10 pm or so, a foul smell emanating at the mouth of the borewell.
The boy could not be saved despite “all our herculean attempts (bageeratha muyarchi)”, said the senior bureaucrat, looking very distraught and not just physically drained. The NDRF-SDRF teams were summoned and, using pincer equipment, the body was pulled out of the deep pit. It was found to be heavily decomposed and the body parts dismembered.
Earlier, the senior bureaucrat, who has been at the fulcrum of all the planning and execution of the efforts to save and secure Sujith, had discussed with his team plus health minister Dr. C. Vijaya Baskar, on the final move to get the body out of the borewell. Since it was now confirmed that the boy was no more, it was decided to opt for the not-so-delicate method of bringing his body out through the borewell itself by using the pincer instrument, without having to continue with the ‘careful’ process by the larger parallel tunnel that was being drilled.
The body was brought out at about 4 a.m. and was at once rushed to the hospital wrapped in a plastic sheet for post-mortem and encasing in a coffin for the last rites as per the family’s Christian rituals. The coffin was brought out a couple of hours later for the ministers and other important people to place garlands and thereafter driven to the cemetery, where it was kept for the last respects from the family and others.
Mother Kala Mary sobbed uncontrollably while calling her child to come out of the coffin and into her embrace “just one last time”. The father, Britto Arockiaraj, went through the rituals shocked, benumbed beyond tears.
“We were informed late Monday that Sujith is no more, that we will not get him back. Kala had already drained of tears and energy, but the terrible news shattered us as we hoped till that very moment there would be some miracle and our prayers would be answered. It did not happen,” said the kid’s aunt Julia, even as Sujith’s elder brother Puneet Roshan, barely four, stood close by looking confused.
It was Puneet who rushed back home to inform mom about Sujith falling into the borewell on that fateful Friday evening.
He did not seem to realise that the little coffin, barely four feet long, contained his kid brother’s remains and he will not come back to play in the fields.
Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami, deputy CM O. Panneerselvam and a host of ministers and ruling party leaders came later to console the Britto family.
The CM announced solatium of five lakh rupees from the CM’s Relief Fund and another five lakh rupees from the AIADMK fund.