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Home > News > Report

Sonia Gandhi in Meerut to meet victims

Onkar Singh in New Delhi | April 11, 2006 10:52 IST

Congress president Sonia Gandhi rushed to Meerut on Tuesday morning to visit the site of the fire tragedy that left more then 50 persons dead and equal number injured.

"She has visited the hospitals and the incident site, and consoled the families of the deceased," a senior congress leader in New Delhi said over phone.

Senior Congress leader and Uttar Pradesh Congress chief Salman Khursheed visited the scene on Monday night itself to prepare the groundwork for the party chief's visit.

Bahujan Samajwadi Party chief Mayawati, who was amongst the first leaders to visit the spot, accused the state government of hiding the facts and playing down the number of dead. "I demand a CBI inquiry into the incident," she said.

Bharatiya Janata Party president Rajnath Singh has taken a break from his Bharat Suraksha Yatra and is rushing to Meerut to visit the Victoria Park where the tragedy took place and meet the injured in the hospital.

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mulayam Singh Yadav has announced an ex-gratia payment of Rs 2 lakh each to the family of the victims who were killed. Ironically, the investigations so far are being carried out by the same persons who granted permission to the Brands India show organizers to hold the mela at the ground. Minister of State for Home Affairs Sri Prakash Jaiswal believed that the incident was fit for a judicial probe.

Chief fire officer, who is alleged to have given the no-objection certificate to the organizers for setting up 3 air-conditioned halls,has not yet been available for comment.

"Nobody bothered to find out whether adequate provisions had been made to ensure smooth entry and exit for those visiting the place. No emergency provision or exit route had been prepared," said one M K Gupta, who was looking for his son and grandson, missing since the incident.


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