A day after the terrible tragedy of September 13 when 11 people drowned after their boats capsized, Madhya Pradesh Legal Affairs Minister PC Sharma has demanded a high-level inquiry as well as action against senior officials of police and district administration.
In a letter addressed to the commissioner of Bhopal division, Sharma alleged carelessness and demanded suspension of the senior officials who were not present at the spot.
"The tragedy could have been averted had officials of district administration and police besides divers been present at the site of the immersion," he stated. "Those officers (of deputy collector and tehsildar level) who were assigned the duty at the immersion site should be suspended and a high-level inquiry conducted," he demanded.
The district collector took action against the negligent officials and suspended four officials for alleged non-performance of duty. Revenue Inspector Anil Gawhane, who was on duty at the Upper Lake, also faced similar action. Assistant Police Sub-Inspector Shivvachan Yadav, who was posted at the site but was found absent, was also suspended. The Bhopal Municipal Corporation has suspended fire officer Sajid Khan along with deputy city engineer R K Saxena, who were on duty at the immersion site. Moreover, the municipal corporation had announced relief of Rs 2 lakh each to the kin of the deceased, while an ex-gratia of Rs 4 lakh, including an immediate relief of Rs 50,000, was declared by the collector.
The Office of the Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh Kamal Nath on Twitter said the news of 11 people drowning in Khatlapura Ghat in Bhopal is saddening. The tweet further assured the citizens that the government is with the families of the victims. Promising to take action, the CM's office stated that whoever was negligent will not be spared. Kamal Nath also instructed a magisterial inquiry into the incident and promised all the aggrieved that compensation amounting to Rs 11 lakh will be given.
11 people died and their bodies were recovered at Khatlapura Ghat in Bhopal after the boat they were in, capsized on the morning of September 13. The people had set out for Ganpati Visarjan when the incident occurred. According to reports, the incident took place at around 4:30 am.
Former MP Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan has questioned the administration. He said, "If more people than the capacity were allowed, why was it so? It was administrative negligence."