THE MUNICIPAL commissioner and additional municipal commissioner of Saharanpur were on Friday booked for causing death by negligence after one person was electrocuted and five others sustained injuries after coming in contact with live wires at the Gughal Mela organised by the civic body.
The civic body, however, alleged that while no one was electrocuted, the deceased — Rehman Ali (20) — died when the police resorted to lathicharge at the fair, as the crowd went out of control during a dance programme. The police, meanwhile, claimed the death took place when a pillar came into contact with a live wire causing a stampede-like situation.
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Police said at 12.30 am on Thursday, the pandal — where the event was taking place — suddenly came in contact with a live wire, resulting in those sitting near the pillar suffer electric shocks. Ali was electrocuted and he died later at the hospital. Five others who sustained injuries — Ikram-ul-Haq, Anees, Khaalid, Sanjay and Danish — are undergoing treatment, said Kutubsher police Station Officer Shailendra Kumar Sharma.
“An FIR has been filed against municipal commissioner O P Verma, additional municipal commissioner Sachidanand Singh, convener of the fair Nawazish Khan and co-convener Pervez Khan under sections 336 (act endangering life or personal safety of others), 337 (causing hurt by act of endangering life or personal safety of others), 338 (causing grievous hurt by act of endangering life or personal safety of others) and 304 (A) (causing death by negligence) of the IPC,” he added. The FIR was lodged on the complaint of Ali’s father.
When contacted, O P Verma said: “The municipal corporation has been putting up the pandal at the mela for decades. As per my information, a vulgar dance show was being performed when the crowd went out of control. As hundreds climbed on the stage, a youth touched a live wire and started screaming. This caused panic and led to a stampede.”
He added that the police lathicharged the crowd and a youth died of injuries. “This is why the police did not send the body for postmortem and allowed it to be burial immediately. I will move court,” said Verma.
Saharanpur SSP Manoj Tiwari, meanwhile, said: “The medical reports clearly state the cause of death. The postmortem was not conducted as the father of the deceased requested for the same.”
“Everything that happened inside the pandal has been video recorded. All evidence show that the youth was electrocuted. There was no lathicharge or stampede,” he added.
Gughal Mela, which started from September 11, is being held in Saharanpur for more than 100 years.
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