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MP temple stampede: Datia collector, officials suspended

October 14, 2013 22:16 IST

Madhya Pradesh government on Monday night suspended Datia collector and three other officials in the wake of stampede near Ratnagarh temple, in which 115 pilgrims were killed and scores injured.

The decision was taken after getting the nod from the Election Commission, as the state is bound by Model Code of Conduct after announcement of assembly polls.

Those suspended include Collector Sanket Bhondwe, SP C S Solanki, SDM Mahip Tejaswi and SDOP B N Basave.

The state government had earlier in the day recommended to the State Election Commission that Datia's Collector, Superintendent of Police, Sub Divisional Magistrate, Sub Divisional Officer of Police and entire staff of Sevdha police station, be suspended over the incident.

Since the Collector is the district electoral officer, the state government, in consultation with the Chief Electoral Officer of MP, had suggested a replacement and the EC has concurred to the name of Raghuraj.

R K Marathe will be the new Datia SP, EC sources said.

The decision to suspend Collector, SP and other officials was taken by the state government after Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan visited Datia on Monday to review the situation after Sunday's tragedy, official sources said.

The chief minister reviewed the situation and prima facie found these officials and policemen guilty of a major lapse that led to the stampede.

Assembly elections are scheduled to be held in the state next month.

The inquiry report would come in about two months and action on it will be taken within 15 days after its submission.

Chouhan wished to visit the stampede site but he could not go there as he did not get permission from the Election Commission.

Image: People stand beside the bodies of victims killed in a stampede on a bridge, near Ratangarh temple, in Datia district.

Photograph: Reuters

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