Fix responsibility, take action against erring officials in Batala firecracker factory blast: Bajwa
Congress leader and Rajya Sabha MP, Partap Singh Bajwa, on Monday blamed the local administration and Batala police for the firecracker factory blast and said, “The officials who failed to act upon complaints of residents against the factory owners should be identified and booked for murder charge.”
After meeting the family members of deceased and residents of Guru Ram Das colony, Bajwa said “if timely action was taken by the administration, this tragedy would have been averted. A thorough enquiry should be conducted as why the complaints of residents were not considered by the administration. The manner, the police took action against Lok Insaaf Party (LIP) president, Simranjeet Singh Bains, similar speedy action was also required against the officials, whose laxity resulted in the death of 24 persons.”
“It is shameful that one of the owners of the illegal cracker factory, Ramandeep alias Rommy, escaped from the civil hospital right under the nose of police and even after passing of more than five days, the police had failed to trace him,” he said.
“Being a congressman, I know we are running the government in Punjab but I don’t hesitate in accepting that due to the laxity of our official machinery, we lost 24 precious lives. Several residents have told me that they had made complaints to the area SHO and DSP on numerous occasions about the factory being operated without mandatory permissions. Why did not officials act then?” he asked.
On the issue of Special Investigation Team (SIT) formed by Batala police, he said “How an SHO or a DSP of same police district can give report against his own colleagues or seniors. The inquiry should be conducted by at least a retired judge of high court.”
Demanding a compensation of ₹.25 lakh for the kin of the deceased and ₹10 lakh for the injured, Bajwa said “This is because the administration failed to act on time. What is the fault of the people who lost their lives?” said Bajwa.
Magisterial probe begins
Meanwhile, the assistant deputy commissioner (ADC), Gurdaspur Tajinder Pal Singh Sandhu, who is heading the probe committee, claimed that the inquiry had begun but he denied sharing the details and said,“once the enquiry will be completed, media will be brief about the outcome.”
Death toll rises to 24
The death toll in the incident increased to 24 as one more persons, Vicky (30) resident of Batala, who was working as labourer in the factory, succumbed to injuries on Monday morning. Giving information, Dr. Rakesh Sharma at government t medical hospital said that the deceased was on life support system from the last four days and due to severe burn injuries, he succumbed.