MP blasts: Authorities were aware of explosives in house

Jhabua (Madhya Pradesh), Sep 13 (IANS) Complaints were made to the administration about the storage of explosives in a residential area in Petlawad in Jhabua district but it continued to remain apathetic, according to local residents.

On Saturday, 87 people were killed and over 100 injured, 20 seriously, when a cylinder blast at a tea stall packed with customers was followed by a massive blast that ripped through an adjoining building.

Though the administration’s lapse is out in open, the government seems to be hesitant to take action, locals allege.

Large scale mining is conducted in Jhabua area, and for this licence for selling explosives are issued. However, according to instructions, the explosives cannot be stored in populated, residential areas.

But orders are openly flouted and the explosives are stored in residential areas, residents say. Rajendra Kaswa, at whose house the second blast took place, also did this.

According to local residents, they complained a number of times to the administration about the storage of explosives in a godown in a residential area. But the complaints were ignored.

Chena Lal Gehlot, a complainant, told the media that the matter was brought to the notice of then district magistrate Chandrashekhar Borkar, but he was shooed away.

Gehlot also said that many others also complained on the issue but no action was taken.

The local residents on Saturday and Sunday hit the streets to express their anger over the issue when Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan arrived to assess the situation.

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