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Published On: Sun, Jun 23rd, 2019

Rajasthan: Pandal collapses during Ram Katha, kills 14 in Barmer

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barmer-pandal-pti (1)BARMER/ JAIPUR : At least 14 people reportedly died and over 50 injured in Barmer district of Rajasthan after a ‘pandaal’ collapsed due to heavy rain and storm during a religious gathering on Sunday. The incident happened when several people were gathered under a tent listen to Ram Katha (The story of Ram), as per media report.All the injured people have been admitted to a nearby hospital.

Barmer district collector Himanshu Gupta said the tent was erected for a religious programme — Ram Katha (Lord Ram’s story). “Prima facie, it appears the 14 people died after the metal poles fell on them… Some people have also died due to electrocution after electricity cables snapped and fell on the poles,” said additional police superintendent Ratan Lal Bhargava. “However, a clear picture will emerge after the post-mortem.”
In a purported video circulating on social media, Murlidhar Maharaj, who was reciting the Ram Katha, is seen running for cover when the tent began to shake. He is also seen telling his listeners to leave the tent.
“The loss of lives in the accident in Jasol, Barmer due to collapse of tents during Ram Katha is very sad, unfortunate. God is praying for peace to the soul of the departed, to give peace to the bereaved families. I wish speedy recovery to the injured,” Ashok Gehlot twitted.
The chief minister Ashok Gehlot has ordered an investigation into the Barmer tent collapse case. He has directed the concerned officials to carry out the rescue and relief work. The former chief minister of Rajasthan Vasundhara Raje Scindia also expressed grief over death of several people in the incident.
Barmer’s additional police superintendent, Khinv Singh Bhati, said around 300 people were sitting under the tent when it collapsed because of the dust storm. The injured were taken to nearby government and private hospitals. Some have been shifted to Jodhpur.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot tweeted about the Barmer tent collapse. “Collapse of a pandaal in Rajasthan’s Barmer is unfortunate. My thoughts are with the bereaved families and I wish the injured a quick recovery,” Modi tweeted.
Gehlot said he has directed the concerned officials to probe into the incident. “Officials have been directed to ensure that quick treatment is given to the injured and the family members of the injured should be provided help in every possible manner,” Gehlot tweeted.
Gehlot also announced an inquiry into the incident by jodhpur divisional commissioner BL Kothari and a compensation of Rs 5 lakh to next of kin of each of the deceased persons. A release from CM’s office said the injured will also be given a maximum compensation of Rs 2 lakh each.
Disaster management and relief minister Bhanwar Lal Meghwal blamed the organisers for the tragedy. “There was negligence by the organisers. When they knew that weather has changed, rainfall and dust storm has started then why they did not they get the electricity supply switched off. The action would be taken against those responsible,” he said.(With Agency Inputs ).


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