Indore stepwell roof collapse: Temple president, secretary booked on culpable homicide charges
A day after 35 people died in the Indore temple tragedy, police booked the president and secretary of Beleshwar Mahadev Jhulelal temple on charges of culpable homicide not amounting to murder.
Rescue operation underway after the roof of a ‘bavdi’ (well) collapsed at Beleshwar Mahadev Jhulelal, in Indore (PTI Photo)
By Ravish Pal Singh: Indore Police has booked the president and secretary of Beleshwar Mahadev Jhulelal temple where 35 people died after the roof of a well collapsed during a havan on the occasion of Ram Navami on Thursday. The duo has been charged with culpable homicide not amounting to murder.
Makarand Deuskar, Indore Police Commissioner, told India Today, “An FIR was filed against the president and secretary of the temple committee in the Indore tragedy case. The matter is being investigated. A magisterial inquiry has also been ordered and we will take action accordingly.”
A day after the death toll in the Indore temple stepwell roof collapse incident rose to 35, police have filed an First Information Report (FIR) against two people and booked them on culpable homicide charges. Indore police said that a case has been registered against the president and secretary of temple administration under Section 304 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).
A search operation is currently underway to trace one missing person, an official said.
“I have no words to express my grief about the Indore temple stepwell roof collapse incident. The tragedy happened on the auspicious occasion of Ram Navami in which 35 people were killed. Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan is closely monitoring the situation and he is being apprised on the situation constantly,” cabinet minister Tulsi Ram Silawat told India Today TV.
INDORE TEMPLE TRAGEDY
The incident happened on Thursday when the slab constructed on top of an ancient ‘bawdi’ or stepwell collapsed during a ‘havan’ programme at the Beleshwar Mahadev Jhulelal temple in the city, plunging several devotees into the water reservoir below.
“Our search operation, being carried out with the help of Army, National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and State Disaster Response Force (SDRF), is nearing completion. So far, 35 bodies have been recovered from the well,” Indore District Magistrate Dr Ilayaraja T told reporters from the site of the incident.
CM ORDERS MAGISTERIAL INQUIRY
Ordering a magisterial inquiry into the incident, Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan said, “We will leave no stone unturned in providing financial assistance to the victims. We have ordered an inspection of such stepwells or bawdis across the state. At present, our priority is to trace one missing person and strict action will be taken against those found guilty.”
The CM announced financial assistance of Rs 5 lakh each to the families of the victims and Rs 50,000 to every injured person.
Collector and district magistrate Dr. Ilayaraja T has asked Additional Collector Abhay Bedekar to conduct a magisterial inquiry into the matter and submit the report within 15 days. The inquiry will be conducted to find out under what circumstances the deaths occurred, chronology of the entire event, who is responsible for the tragedy and other things.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi also took stock of the situation and expressed his condolences. He tweeted, “Extremely pained by the mishap in Indore. Spoke to CM Shivraj Chouhan Ji and took an update on the situation. The state Government is spearheading rescue and relief work at a quick pace. My prayers with all those affected and their families.”
An eyewitness told PTI that during the religious programme, there was a huge crowd of devotees at the temple and its floor caved in as it could not bear the load.
Local residents said that the temple was built by laying a slab over the ancient stepwell.
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(With PTI inputs)