Death toll in cylinder blast rises to 32 in Rajasthan, BJP says State Govt in 'celebratory mode'

December 17, 2022 04:23 am | Updated 04:23 am IST - Jodhpur (Rajasthan)

The death toll in the cylinder explosion during a wedding in Rajasthan’s Jodhpur district rose to 32 on December 16, with four more people succumbing to injuries at a hospital in Jodhpur.

Slamming the Congress government in the State, BJP leader Rajendra Singh Rathore said while Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot is yet to visit Bhungra village where the tragedy struck on December 8, his party has organised a celebration.

He was apparently referring to a musical concert organised in Jaipur to mark the 100 days of Congress leader Rahul Gandhi-led ‘Bharat Jodo Yatra’. The event was also attended by Mr. Gehlot and party general secretary K.C. Venugopal.

The cylinder explosion at Bhungra in Shergarh subdivision had triggered a fire and left over 50 people injured. On Friday, four more of the injured succumbed at the MG Hospital, taking the toll to 32, officials said.

“Such a ghastly incident has taken place in the State. Thirty-two people have lost their lives. But instead of announcing a special package for the victims and visiting the spot, the state government is in celebratory mode and adding insult to injury,” Mr. Rathore said.

Mr. Rathore, the Deputy Leader of Opposition in the Assembly, had reached Jodhpur on Dec. 15 and visited the hospital. He also met some people protesting outside the hospital’s morgue.

Condemning the government for not directing police to file a case of criminal negligence against the gas company, he said neither the company nor the state government has announced any compensation.

He demanded Rs 1 crore compensation to each victim’s families from the gas company and Rs 20 crore package from the state government. On his call of support, a fund of ₹53 lakh was announced by some people of the community, while Rathore himself announced to donate ₹11 lac for the victims.

State BJP Chief Satish Poonia also visited the hospital and the village with Mr. Rathore.

On the other hand, villagers and the victims’ relatives have refused to accept the bodies for the last rites until their demands, including jobs and ₹50 lakh compensation, are met.

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