Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath ordered a probe by the Special Investigation Team of the Economic Offences Wing into the roof collapse incident in Muradnagar which killed 25 people. Officials said that the SIT will look into all aspects of the case, including the construction work.
The contractors and officials of the local administration, including the executive officer and a junior engineer, have been arrested in the case so far. On Tuesday, Adityanath had ordered the imposition of the National Security Act on the contractor and the junior engineer.
The rain shelter, built in a cremation ground in Ghaziabad’s Muradnagar, had collapsed earlier this week when a funeral was underway. Relatives, friends and neighbours of the man who had come to the cremation ground as part of the funeral procession were among those who died as the immediate family members were closer to the pyre and at a short distance from the shelter.
Meanwhile, a purported letter written to the District Magistrate Ajay Shankar Pandey in June last year, alleging poor construction of the structure, has come to the fore. The letter, written by one Mahant Vijay Pal on the letter head of an organisation called the Nagar Vikas Parishad, said that poor quality material was being used in the construction of the shelter in the cremation ground. It also said that the junior engineer in the area was not paying heed to complaints.
Pandey said he had seen a copy of the letter being circulated on social media but said there was no receiving stamp on it and he was not sure it was submitted to his office.
“I have seen the letter that is circulating but there is no receiving stamp on it, which is the usual practice when any complaint is filed. I am not denying that the letter was sent but I have not seen it before today. Based on the preliminary investigation, it seems like there must have been structural defects in the shelter. On top of that, it was raining heavily that day. We are focusing on relief operations. Families that live on rent are being provided houses, counsellors are in the area to help families through their grief and school fee of children whose family members have been killed will be waived,” he said.
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