Rajkot fire: Congress calls for judicial oversight of probe

Gujarat Congress chief Shaktisinh Gohil urges Prime Minister Narendra Modi to visit Rajkot and meet the families of the victims to share their grief.

Updated - May 28, 2024 11:11 pm IST

Published - May 28, 2024 10:39 pm IST - New Delhi

Shaktisinh Gohil, MP and Gujarat PCC president, at the AICC headquarters in New Delhi on May 28, 2024.

Shaktisinh Gohil, MP and Gujarat PCC president, at the AICC headquarters in New Delhi on May 28, 2024. | Photo Credit: Shiv Kumar Pushpakar

The Congress on May 28 demanded an investigation under the supervision of a sitting judge of the Supreme Court or the High Court into the fire at the Rajkot game zone that left more than 30 people dead.

Addressing a press conference at the party headquarters, Gujarat Congress chief Shaktisinh Gohil said the BJP government in the State was “not serious” about taking action in the case. He urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to visit Rajkot and meet the families of the victims to share their grief.

Also read | Rajkot game zone fire: Two cops, civic staff among six officials suspended for negligence

More than 30 people, including children, were killed in the massive fire at the gaming centre on May 25. The State government has formed a Special Investigation Team (SIT) to conduct investigation into the incident. The bodies that are charred beyond recognition are being identified through DNA profiling.

“Prime Minister Modi should take a break from campaigning and meet the families affected by this incident in Rajkot and share their grief,” Mr. Gohil said.

Hitting out at the State government, Mr. Gohil alleged that safety rules such like separate entry and exit routes and distance from residential areas were not followed in the game zone.

“Even after such a horrific accident in Rajkot, the government is not serious. It is the responsibility of the government to protect the lives and property of the people, but today the government itself is playing with it. When top officials themselves had been visiting this game zone, then what is the government trying to prove by suspending the junior officials?” Mr. Gohil said.

The Congress leader claimed that in Gujarat, the officers who “flatter” the government had been given prominence. “The situation is such that in Gujarat, good officers are being sidelined and their careers are being ruined. The result is accidents like the one in Rajkot,” he said.

He also recalled that 22 children had lost their lives at an educational institute in Surat earlier. “Similarly, 14 children lost their lives when a boat sank in Vadodara. No action was taken in that case either. Many people lost their lives due to the collapse of the bridge in Banaskantha. The company which was building this bridge was blacklisted earlier as well, but as soon as it donated money to the BJP, it got the work of building this bridge,” he alleged.

“There should be a complete investigation under the supervision of a sitting judge of the Supreme Court or High Court,” Mr. Gohil said.

The Congress leader also hailed the Gujarat High Court for coming down heavily on the Rajkot civic body over the game zone fire.

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