MP stampede: 21 officials including Datia collector suspended as toll reaches 115https://indianexpress.com/article/india/regional/mp-stampede-21-officials-including-datia-collector-suspended-as-toll-reaches-115/

MP stampede: 21 officials including Datia collector suspended as toll reaches 115

Election Commission stated that the stampede had become a law-and-order issue.

The Madhya Pradesh government has suspended 21 officials,including Datia collector,over the alleged lapse in connection with the temple stampede in which more than 115 people were killed.

Datia collector Sanket Bhondve,SP Chandrashekhar Solanki,sub-divisional magistrate (Seondha) Mahip Tejaswi and sub-divisional police officer B N Basave were some of the top officials to be suspended after getting the go-ahead from the Election Commission (EC).

Director,Skill Development,Jabalpur,M R Raghuraj and AIG (HQ) R K Marathe were posted as the new collector and SP respectively,while Additional Municipal Commissioner M L Daulatani and DSP (EOW) M P Sharma were posted as the new SDM and SDOP respectively.

On Monday,the EC sought a report on the stampede at the Ratangarh Mata temple in Datia district,even as parties in poll-bound Madhya Pradesh traded charges over the stampede tragedy.

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The EC said the stampede,allegedly caused due to rumours that a bridge over the Sindh river was about to collapse,had become a law-and-order issue and asked the state home secretary to file a report.

The toll rose to 115 with the fear of an increase as information about casualties came in.

Congress campaign committee chief Jyotiraditya Scindia,who visited the stampede site,and Union Minister Kamal Nath,however,claimed it was in excess of 200 and accused the BJP government of trying to suppress facts.

CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan,who met injured devotees on Monday,had to face the wrath of their relatives who shouted slogans denouncing the government,police and the local administration.

While Chouhan refused to take the blame and concede the opposition demand for his resignation,his party,the BJP,accused the Congress of politicking over corpses.

The CM said a probe commission would be set up on Tuesday with a mandate to submit a report within two months. “The government will act within 15 days on the report,” he said,without elaborating that a new government would be in place by then.

(With PTI inputs)