Midnapore canopy collapse: Central teams visits PM’s rally venue

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Kolkata, July 18 (IANS) Two days after a makeshift canopy collapsed at Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s rally site in West Bengal’s Midnapore town, a team of Union Home Ministry officials on Wednesday visited the rally ground to look for the possible lapses that caused the accident.

The team held a meeting with the West Midnapore District Magistrate, senior officers of Bengal Police and the organisers — the state BJP leadership, to inquire into the possible lack of coordination among different agencies and other shortcomings in organising the rally.

A high-level central team, comprising Home Department Joint Secretary Anita Bhatnagar and two senior Special Protection Group officers — S.K. Singh and M. Siddhi, had already inspected the broken canopy at the Midnapore College ground on Tuesday and instructed that the venue be sealed until further notice.

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Total 90 people were injured in the mishap.

According to sources, the team held a marathon meeting and questioned chiefs of various district departments individually.

Senior officers of the state police, including district Superintendent of Police Alok Rajoria and ADG (IB) Siddhinath Gupta also met the central teams on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, the Bengal BJP leadership said they would file a police complaint against the state Public Works Department (PWD) for alleged “negligence in duty” during the Prime Minister’s rally.

“We have decided to file a police complaint against the state PWD for their negligence in duty during the Prime Minister’s rally in Midnapore. It is due to their slack attitude that the mishap occurred,” state BJP general secretary Sayantan Basu said.

Meanwhile, the state police filed a police complaint against the organisers, decorator and contractor of the rally charging them with attempted culpable homicide.

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Chaos broke out during the Prime Minister’s address when the makeshift canopy gave way prompting Modi to stop his speech for a brief period. The Prime Minister also visited the hospital after the rally and talked to the patients and doctors.



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