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What of trade fair salesgirls?

The state government puts the missing persons figure at seven but what do they have to say about the 100-odd women hired by various companies to man business counters at the trade fair?

india Updated: Apr 14, 2006 02:10 IST
S Raju
S Raju
None

The state government puts the missing persons figure at seven but what do they have to say about the 100-odd women hired by various companies to man business counters at the trade fair? They are all missing, feared dead, gone without a trace.

Those who put up stalls say more than 125 girls were behind the counters that fateful day. A major chunk of them were in enclosure B, where the fire broke out. Their way out was apparently blocked by a big crowd that rushed towards the only exit gate. Many people are still fighting for their lives in various hospitals but there is no word on the fate of these girls.

Survivor Narender Gambhir believes the number of girls hired was upwards of 125 as there were five or more of them in each of the stalls. He says he saw several charred bodies of women. Ravi Verma, another stall holder, says charred bodies of many girls were found stuck to tin sheets, electrocuted in their attempt to come out of the burning tents.

Meanwhile, at a press conference on Thursday evening, new Meerut SSP Navneet Sikera and DM Mukesh Meshram put the official toll at 42 dead, 7 missing and 133 injured. In the face of allegations of a huge number of missing people, they said a probe team had been constituted.

First Published: Apr 14, 2006 02:10 IST