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Midnapore tent collapse: BJP may file police complaint against state PWD

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Kolkata | Updated: July 26, 2018 3:02:20 PM

The West Bengal BJP is contemplating to file a police complaint against the state Public Works Department for its alleged "negligence of duty" during Prime Minister Narendra Modi's rally at Midnapore, where a makeshift tent collapse injured over 90 people.

Midnapore: Prime Minister Narendra Modi visits a woman, who was injured after a portion of a tent collapsed at his rally, at a hospital in Midnapore on Monday, July 16, 2018. (PTI Photo)

The West Bengal BJP is contemplating to file a police complaint against the state Public Works Department for its alleged “negligence of duty” during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s rally at Midnapore, where a makeshift tent collapse injured over 90 people.

The development comes a day after the police filed a case against the organiser of the rally and a decorator who erected the tent at the venue of Modi’s rally on Monday for “extreme negligence of duty”.

“Many issues were discussed regarding the incident. The issue of filing a police complaint against the state PWD for its negligence of duty was also discussed. The party will seek legal opinion before taking a final decision on this,” BJP state vice president Subhas Sarkar said.

Earlier in the day, Sarkar had said the party has decided to file a complaint as the PWD engineers were present when the tent was being erected.

“The police also failed to control the mob. When the tent collapsed, the policemen did nothing. It were the BJP workers who rescued the supporters,” Sarkar told PTI.

He alleged that the police baton-charged BJP activists at the venue to control them and many party supporters climbed the makeshift marquee and it collapsed.

The tent was erected next to the main entrance of the rally venue to shelter people from the rain and the incident happened when Modi was mid-way through his speech.

Reacting to the development, senior leader of the ruling Trinamool Congress Jyotipriyo Mullick said,”These are tricks of the BJP to evade responsibility and blame others.”

TMC member Saugata Roy said in the Lok Sabha that the BJP had organised the rally and it should take the blame for the “shabby arrangement”.

The Centre has sought a report from the state government on the incident and a high-level central team was sent to Midnapore to assess the circumstances that led to
the accident.

The team left the town today after visiting the rally site at Midnapore College ground, official sources said.

The venue had been sealed yesterday and it still remains so, the sources at Midnapore said.

They said the central team yesterday met West Midnapore district magistrate, superintendent of police, health officials of the district as well as the superintendent of Midnapore Medical College and Hospital, where the injured were admitted.

The team was asked to examine whether there was any lapse in security measures, lack of coordination among various agencies or other shortcomings in organising the rally.

Initial investigations have revealed that some of the iron frames used for setting up the makeshift tent were rusty, and most of the iron poles were not inserted in the ground properly, a senior police officer said.

It has also been found that some of the CCTVs installed at the venue were not working properly.

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