The death toll in Indore’s Beleshwar Mahadev Jhulelal temple stepwell collapse reached 36 on Friday. Two temple trustees have been booked for culpable homicide not amounting to murder, and two Indore municipal corporation officials have been suspended, pending inquiry.
A magisterial inquiry is being conducted by Additional District Magistrate Abhay Bedekar into the incident.
Among the 36 dead, 21 are women, 12 are men, a girl aged 11, and three children. The incident occurred somewhere before noon on Thursday after which over 100 people from National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), State Disaster Response Force (SRDF), fire brigade, district administration, police and municipality undertook a rescue operation. Around 9 pm on Thursday, Army was called in for help.
The rescue operations ended around 12.30 pm on Friday when the last person was pulled out from under the debris.
Based on a complaint from in-charge of Juni Indore police station Niraj Kumar Meda, an FIR has been registered under sections 304 (culpable homicide not amounting to murder) and 34 (act done with common intention by two or more persons) of the IPC against the two trustees of the temple.
According to the FIR, the two accused — Sevaram Galani, president of the trust, and Secretary Murli Kumar Sabnani — had received a notice from the municipality in April 2022 but failed to take cognisance of the alleged illegal construction at the temple. “We are trying to trace the accused. We have written to the municipality to provide us with all the notices served to the temple based on which we will decide if there are more accused in the case,” said Meda.