Monday, Sep 22, 2014

Saifee Mahal stampede probe goes to crime branch

As many as 18 people were killed in the stampede on Saturday. As many as 18 people were killed in the stampede on Saturday.
Express News Service | Mumbai | Posted: January 21, 2014 12:51 am | Updated: February 6, 2014 2:41 pm

The probe into the Saifee Mahal stampede was transferred to the city police’s Crime Branch on Monday, after the police submitted its report to Joint Commissioner of Police (Law and Order) Sadanand Date.

The stampede in the wee hours of Saturday, in which 18 people were killed and 46 injured, occurred when thousands of Dawoodi Bohras thronged Saifee Mahal, the Malabar Hill home of departed spiritual leader Dr Syedna Mohammad Burhanuddin, who died Friday.

According to the police, which did not anticipate the numbers that would pack the narrow lane leading to Saifee Mahal, the chaos erupted after unidentified individuals allegedly circulated messages via text and mobile application WhatsApp that the funeral procession would be carried out the same night.

According to the preparations agreed upon by the Syedna’s family and the police, the funeral procession would begin on Saturday morning. However, the messages parked panic among those waiting to enter the Mahal and have a final glimpse of the Syedna’s body.

The police said the gates of the Mahal, which had been opened to let devotees in, abruptly shut at 1.30 am, causing those at the back to trample those clinging to the gates ahead of them.

Additonal Commissioner of Police (south region) Krishna Prakash submitted his report into the incident to Date on Monday afternoon, sources said. Soon after, the probe was handed over to the Crime Branch, Niket Kaushik, Additional Commissioner of Police (Crime), confirmed.

mumbai.newsline@expressindia.com

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