Organiser, Decorator Booked for Tent Collapse at PM Modi's Bengal Rally; BJP Blames Cops
Ninety people were injured when the tent collapsed during Prime Minister Narendra Modi's rally in Bengal on Monday.
Initial investigations revealed that some of the iron frames used for setting up the tent were rusty, which led to the collapse. (Photo: PTI)
Kolkata/New Delhi: A case was registered against an organiser and a decorator, who erected a makeshift tent at the venue of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's rally in Midnapore, for negligence of duty, police said on Tuesday.
Ninety people were injured when the tent collapsed during Modi's rally Monday.
Superintendent of Police (West Midnapore) Alok Rajoria told PTI that the police had registered a case against the organiser and the decorator for "extreme negligence".
State BJP general secretary Sayantan Basu, on the other hand, alleged that the police resorted to baton charge on BJP activists at the venue to control them and it led to the accident.
"Lakhs of people had come to see Narendra Modiji. The police could have controlled the crowd in a proper way but instead, they resorted to baton charge which resulted in many BJP supporters climbing on the makeshift marquee," Basu claimed.
"The poles of the tent fell as the ground was completely wet after the rain. Also, many people climbed atop the tent, which could not withstand their weight and it collapsed," he said.
He said that PWD engineers were present when the tent was being erected and wondered what were they doing. He also questioned the attitude of the police and the state towards the incident.
District police sources said a high-level team led by ADG(IB) Siddhinath Gupta and Rajoria visited the spot during the day and spoke to several people involved in erecting the marquee.
Initial investigations 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.
"The iron rods should have been placed in the ground much deeper, as the ground was wet due to rains," he said.
A senior Union Home Ministry official said a team of top security officials would be visiting West Bengal to assess the circumstances leading to the collapse of the tent.
The team comprising top officials of the Special Protection Group (SPG) will examine whether there was any lapse in the security measures, lack of coordination among different agencies and other shortcomings in organising the rally, he said.
The Centre had on Monday sought a report from the West Bengal government on the incident.
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