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Meerut DM in dock over trade fair inferno

Written by: Staff
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Lucknow, Apr 11 (UNI) The district magistrate of Meerut is in the dock over the Trade Fair inferno with questions being raised on the organisers' failure to seek a 'no objection certificate' from the fire department and his presence at the inaguration function as a chief guest.

Sources in the state police heirarchy claimed today that the organisers (Mrinal Events and Exposition Pvt Ltd) had not sought the fire department's safety certificate for organising the Trade Fair. But despite a lack of safety approval, the DM -- Sriram Krishna -- agreed to be the chief guest at the function.

The organisers, on the other hand, this moring displayed before the media, letters which they claimed were safety approval certificates issued by the police and district administration.

Meanwhile, an FIR has been registered against the organisers of the fair for causing death due to negligence and damage to property, SP (City) Meerut S S Yadav said.

The FIR has been filed against members of the organising team Lakhan Pal Tomar, Ashit Gupta and Siddharth Malhotra, he said adding all three of them were absconding.

The three airconditioned pandals had only one exit and lacked any firefighting equipment. Made of thermocol and plywood to retain the AC's chill, the material of the 100 meter long pandals proved fatal after a short-circuit caused fire.

While most died of stampede, the others were charred to death.

The bodies of those killed in stampede were also charred in the fire which could be controlled after two-and-a-half hours.

The State Government has ordered a magisterial inquiry into the devastating fire.

The inquiry would be headed by Chief Development Officer Pushyapati Saxena and the report would be submitted within two days.

UNI NAB MB SHB RS1409

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