July 05, 2020
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Rules Go Into The Fire

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Rules Go Into The Fire
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Rules Go Into The Fire
outlookindia.com
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Uttar Pradesh chief minister Mulayam Singh Yadav had a taste of people’s ire in Meerut where over a hundred—mostly women and children—were charred to death in a fire that broke in a consumer fair. The mob pelted stones on the CM’s cavalcade, jumped on the bonnet of his car and forced him to leave the site of the tragedy. Then the angry crowd thrashed his party’s state executive committee member Mohammed Abbas and a couple of other leaders.

The mob went out of control as they learnt the fire was caused by the callousness and negligence of the district administration. The fair—spread across a 22,000 square meter area—had a single opening (four-feet-wide) for entry and exit. The organiser, Mrinal Event Management, did not even have a no-objection certificate (NOC)—which is a prerequisite for such events—from the fire department. However, it was the district magistrate’s office which gave permission for the event.

The DM even inaugurated the fair. On the last day (April 10) of the fair, about 2,000 people had turned out. Still, the official records reported only 30 people dead and 131 injured. What shocked everyone was the recovery of a number of skulls from the medical college compound nearby and also the district administration’s decision to get the accident area bulldozed only after a few hours of the tragedy. People felt this callow act was a move to hide the actual number of casualties. The CM has ordered a judicial inquiry and the DM, assistant DM, and the superintendent of police have all been transferred.

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