Kolkata, July 17 (IANS) A day after a canopy collapsed at Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s rally in West Bengal’s Midnapore town, injuring nearly 90 people, police on Tuesday booked the rally organisers, the state BJP, for attempted culpable homicide, police said.
“A case has been filed against the organisers of the Prime Minister’s event under Section 308 of IPC for attempting to commit culpable homicide. They have also been booked for causing hurt by acts endangering life or personal safety of others,” an officer said.
Along with the state unit of the Bharatiya Janata Party, the contractor and decorator who built the canopy for Modi’s event, has also been booked under the same sections.
A section of the makeshift canopy collapsed minutes after Modi started his address at the Midnapore College ground on Monday afternoon. Ninety people – 24 of them women – were taken to hospital after the accident.
Modi stopped speaking for a few minutes when the structure collapsed to urge the audience to move to a safer area. He also instructed officials to make arrangements for the treatment of the injured.
After the rally, Modi visited the injured in the hospital.
The state forensic team visited the rally ground on Tuesday and pointed out many reasons that might have caused the structure to cave in.
“First, the soft condition of the ground due to rains, the second shallow digging of the iron poles (3-4 inches), the fixing plate had four joints out of which only one was fastened with a nut bolt,” said Chitrakhsya Sarkar of state Forensic Science Laboratory.
The state BJP leadership cited rains and overcrowding for the mishap but blamed the police for not taking necessary security measures or controlling the crowd.
“Police did not hold a single meeting with the organisers. The local administration simply overlooked the security aspect of the Prime Minister’s meeting. Now they cannot shrug off their responsibility,” Bengal BJP chief Dilip Ghosh said.
“It might be due to rains or the pressure of crowd. But the police should have checked the security aspects more diligently,” he added.