The Gujarat state government will register a criminal case against the contractor who renovated the suspension bridge on the Machhu river in Morbi town which collapsed, killing more than 140 persons.
The state’s Minister of State for Home, Harsh Sanghavi Sanghavi said, “IPC sections for Culpable Homicide Act which cause death committed intentionally and abettor will be invoked in the criminal complaint, the process is underway to lodge the complaint.”
The sudden bridge collapse plunged 350 people into the river, many of them women and children.
Rescue operations by the defence forces began shortly thereafter as many people clung on to cables. Official reports say the death toll has reached 97, in which 12 persons are distant relatives of BJP MP from Rajkot, Mohan Kundariya.
Built during the British Raj, the bridge had been in renovations for six months. Since its reopening on 26 Oct, some 10,000 peopl ehad visited the bridge.
Rescue operations are likely to continue. Deep water is creating trouble in the rescue operation and so downstream and a check dam is being demolished, with which water will recede and make rescue tasks easy.
In this tragic incident, the Morbi district administration has rescued a few children whose nearest relatives are missing, and has released their photos in social media appealing those close or distant relatives to come forward to help children.
An earlier report said that 170 persons were rescued. The state Minister has said that at the time of the accident nearly 300 persons were on the bridge.
In the memory of those who lost their lives in the Morbi bridge tragedy, political parties have either postponed or cancelled their political events.
The Congress’ ‘Parivartan yatra’ which will start on October 31 is now postponed to November 1.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who had been in Gujarat only days before, was scheduled to virtually address state BJP’s page committee members on November 1; this event now stands to be cancelled.
Meanwhile, questions are being asked about whether a fitness certificate was issued before the bridge was reopened for the public. Opposition parties have alleged that the bridge was reopened for the public before state elections later this year, to reap political benefit, resulting in a tragedy where innocent children, women and elderly have lost their lives.
One report has quoted a visitor Vijay Goswami as saying his family observed a bunch of youth swaying the cables vigorously only hours before the tragedy, causing pedestrians alarm as they were forced to hold on to railings. The Goswami family drew the attention of the security guard on duty, but his esponse was “lukewarm”.
From IANS reports