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FIR filed against 2 Indore temple trust members for culpable homicide

Source: PTI
March 31, 2023 17:28 IST
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A case of culpable homicide not amounting to murder was registered on Friday against two members of the trust of the Indore temple where a floor cave-in a day earlier hurtled devotees into a stepwell, killing 36 persons, a police official said.

IMAGE: Rescue operations in progress after the roof of an ancient bavdi situated in Beleshwar Mahadev Jhulelal temple collapsed during Ram Navami in Indore, March 30, 2023. Photograph: ANI Photo

The slab constructed on top of an ancient bawdi or stepwell had collapsed during a havan programme held on the occasion of Ram Navami at the Beleshwar Mahadev Jhulelal Temple located in Patel Nagar area in Indore on Thursday.

A First Information Report was registered against Sevaram Galani, president of Beleshwar Mahadev Jhulelal Temple Trust, and its secretary Murli Kumar Sabnani under IPC section 304 (culpable homicide not amounting to murder), Juni Indore police station in charge Neeraj Medha said.


There are allegations against these two office-bearers that they built a very unsafe structure by putting a slab on the stepwell, due to which 36 people lost their lives in Thursday's incident, Medha said.

"The Indore municipal corporation had ordered the trust to remove the illegal construction in the temple complex, but the trust did not comply with the order. Both the accused have not been arrested as yet," Medha informed.

An Indore municipal corporation (IMC) official said the Beleshwar Mahadev Jhulelal Temple Trust, in reply to the civic body's letter (on encroachment), had submitted a written reply in April last year claiming it would renovate the temple and open the stepwell by removing the construction (floor slab) on it.

However, the temple trust did not carry out the works it mentioned in its letter, the IMC official added.

Meanwhile, Indore mayor Pushyamitra Bhargava said he had ordered the suspension of a building officer and a building inspector of the civic body in connection with the incident.

The civic body will free all such waterbodies from encroachments and unsafe construction to prevent such tragedies, Bhargava asserted.

Meanwhile, irate residents said strict action should also be taken against civic body officials who turned a blind eye to the issue earlier.

"The people who encroached the stepwell and the IMC officials who did not get it removed must be pulled up. A murder case should be registered against all those who were involved in this horrific tragedy," resident Avneesh Jain said.

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