Wednesday, April 12, 2006 (New Delhi):
Two days after the devastating fire at the Brand India trade fair that killed more than 50 people, the Meerut District Magistrate, Superintendent of Police and the Additional SP have been transferred.
Additional district magistrate Shirish Dubey has been removed after the state government found him guilty of giving clearances to the expo without conducting proper checks.
On Wednesday, an angry crowd attacked a press conference by the District Magistrate.
The mob charged inside and demanded that the administration take some blame for Monday’s fire.
The administration is accused of letting the organisers stage the trade fair without proper clearances, particularly from the fire department. Since the fire broke out, the organisers from the Mrinal Events and Exposition company have been on the run.
On Wednesday, a third inquiry was announced to establish the cause of the incident and pinpoint who is to blame. "All the facts will be verified properly and we’d like to complete the inquiry as fast as possible," said Mohinder Singh, Divisional Commissioner, Meerut Range.
There were some stray clashes through the day. The worst was when a bunch of political activists attacked the DM’s office. But little seemed to calm tempers in a city trying to come to terms with the tragedy. In the capital, the National Human Rights Commission has demanded answers from the state government. Finally the government seems to have buckled under pressure.
But many feel it’s just a token gesture and those related to the victims of the tragedy will be only satisfied once the report comes out and responsibility fixed.