Special Correspondent

JAIPUR: The Rajasthan Government has removed the Collector and Superintendent of Police of Jodhpur, where the Chamunda Devi temple stampede claimed 215 lives earlier this week.

The two officers, put on ‘awaiting posting orders,’ have been replaced by officers from other cities.

State Parliamentary Affairs Minister Rajendra Rathore said here on Saturday that Collector Nareshpal Gangwar and SP Malini Agrawal had been removed in view of the judicial inquiry ordered into the accident. “The State government wants to ensure that no one influences the probe,” he said.

Mr. Gangwar and Ms. Agrawal will be reporting to the Department of Personnel till the next orders. Bhilwara Collector Hemant Kumar Gera has been posted as the new Jodhpur Collector and Banswara SP H.G. Raghvendra Suhasa as the Jodhpur SP (City). Mr. Rathore said it was a “standard practice” to shift the officers concerned during an inquiry to ensure that the probe “is impartial.”

Some more officers in Jodhpur had already been shifted after the tragedy.

Jodhpur Sub-Divisional Magistrate Girish Parashar, Additional District Magistrate-I G.R. Bagri and A.D.M. (City) D.K. Bissa have been kept waiting for new posting orders.

Justice Jas Raj Chopra, retired Judge of the Rajasthan High Court, has been appointed under the Commissions of Inquiry Act, 1952, to conduct the judicial probe into the stampede and submit his report within three months.

In the minor reshuffle following the removal of officers from Jodhpur, Director, Secondary Education, Krishankant Pathak, has been posted as the Bhilwara Collector, while Jose Mohan of the Anti-Corruption Bureau has been shifted as the Banswara SP to replace Mr. Suhasa.

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