Tears were shed, prayers said and the dear ones who departed remembered by hundreds of people who gathered at Ahimsa Square here on Monday to mark the first anniversary of Petlawad blast in MP.
A huge quantity of mining explosives (gelatine rods) stocked illegally in a warehouse had blown up a building on busy Thandla Road in Petlawad on September 12 last year, killing 78 people. anniversary of Jhabua blast
A large posse of police personnel was deployed at the site for the gathering as victims’ relatives and a section of locals have renamed the square near New Bus Stand road as Shradhanjali Square.
The Jain community was opposing any official move to change the name of the square built at a prominent junction in Petlawad town.
The local administration on Monday announced that a final call on renaming the square would be taken after considering suggestion from every section of the society and a referendum will be held on the issue.
Sub-divisional magistrate CL Solanki said, “I had got a memorandum from the victims’ families and locals on Shradhanjali Square issue. I sought 15 days’ time. During this, I will take matter to district collector and superintendent of police. We will take a final call after the referendum through social media as per direction of the district collector.”
After the September 12 blast, the victims’ family members and a section of local people renamed Ahimsa Square as Shradhanjali (Homage) Square in memory of those killed in the blast. They also inscribed names of the victims on the black plaque at the square, giving it a shape of a memorial.
A few days ago, a Jain community delegation submitted a memorandum to the sub-divisional magistrate and requested him to keep the official name of the site as Ahimsa Square.
Notably, Rajendra Kaswa, the main accused in the blast and probably the most hated man in the town, belongs to the Terapanth Jain community.
Indu Solanki, a relative of a blast victim, said the administration should think about our plight before taking any decision on the issue.
“Today, we submitted a memorandum to the administration for renaming the place as Shradhanjali Square permanently,” Solanki said.
All shops and businesses remained shut for the day on Monday in honour of those killed in the blast.
‘Where are the CM and the ministers?’
Jhabua MP and Congress leader Kantilal Bhuria paid floral tribute to the blast victims at the square in Petlawad on Monday.
On the occasion, Bhuria questioned absence of the chief minister, any of his cabinet colleagues and administrative officers in paying tribute to the victims.
Congress leader said ahead of the parliamentary by-poll, the chief minister and other BJP leaders spent hours in the town to heal wounds of victim families, but they forget the people after the election got over.
“Even district collector or superintendent of police has not turned to the spot to pay tribute,” Bhuria said.htc