Text size:

  • Small
  • Normal
  • Large

Suspensions for police, officials over India stampede that killed 115

Indian police and government officials suspended over stampede near temple that killed at least 115 people as recriminations fly over the country's latest religious festival disaster.

BHOPAL, INDIA // Indian police and government officials were suspended over a stampede near a temple that killed at least 115 people as recriminations fly over the country’s latest religious festival disaster.

Twenty-one people, including all 17 policemen from the Ratangarh station, were suspended after devotees were crushed to death or drowned on Sunday near the temple in the central state of Madhya Pradesh.

Outrage has been mounting over the tragedy in Ratangarh town, site of another deadly stampede seven years ago, with authorities under fire over policing levels following claims the panic was aggravated by police charging the pilgrims with batons.

“We have suspended the entire staff of the concerned police station which includes two sub-inspectors and 15 other officers for not doing their duty of regulating the crowd and preventing the stampede,” said DK Arya, the deputy police inspector general.

A commission of inquiry was expected to include the policemen in its investigation into exactly what happened and who was to blame.

“It is going to be difficult for these men as a judicial commission will now probe the role of these officers who have been removed from their posts,” Mr Arya said.

The state government said it was also suspending four officials: the collector of Datia district, the subdivisional magistrate and two police officers.

The government released announced the suspensions on Monday after the chief minister was heckled during a tour of one of the hospitals where victims were being treated.

India has a long history of deadly stampedes at religious festivals, with at least 36 people trampled to death in February as pilgrims headed home from the Kumbh Mela religious festival on the banks of Ganges.

* Agence France-Presse

Back to the top

More articles


Editor's Picks

 Iranian President Hassan Rouhani greeted by university students as he leaves Sistan University in Sistan and Baluchestan’s provincial capital of Zahedan on Tuesday, April 15, 2014. Maryam Rahmanian for The National

In Iran’s most troubled province, Rouhani hears pleas for change

Hassan Rounani aims to connect with residents of far-flung Sistan and Baluchestan province.

 Prince Bandar bin Sultan in Riyadh on March 3, 2007. Hassan Ammar / AFP Photo

Saudi Prince Bandar promised a victory he could not deliver

Saudi Arabia's controversial intelligence chief stepped down this week after rumours that his policies on Syria had fallen out of favour.

 Iranian President Hassan Rouhani greets supporters after his arrival in Zahedan, the regional capital of Sistan and Baluchestan province on Tuesday, April 15, 2014. During Mr Rouhani's two-day visit, he will tour several other cities and hold meetings with local scholars and entrepreneurs. Maryam Rahmanian for The National

On the road with Hassan Rouhani

Iran's president is touring some of Iran's most underdeveloped provinces. Foreign correspondent Yeganeh Salehi is traveling with him.

 Twitter photo of  Abdel Fattah El Sisi on the campaign trail on March 30. Photo courtesy-Twitter/@SisiCampaign

El Sisi rides a bicycle, kicks off social media storm

The photos and video created a huge buzz across social media networks, possibly a marker of a new era for Egypt.

 Friday is UN Mine Awareness Day and Omer Hassan, who does demining work in Iraqi Kurdistan, is doing all he can to teach people about the dangers posed by landmines. Louise Redvers for The National

A landmine nearly ended Omer’s life but he now works to end the threat of mines in Iraq

Omer Hassan does demining work in Iraqi Kurdistan and only has to show people his mangled leg to underscore the danger of mines. With the world marking UN Mine Awareness Day on Friday, his work is as important as ever as Iraq is one of the most mine-affected countries in the world.

 Turkey's Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Turkish spiritual leader Fethullah Gulen. AFP Photo

The inner workings of Gulen’s ‘parallel state’

Fethullah Gulen's followers are accused of trying to push Turkey's prime minister from power.

Events

To add your event to The National listings, click here

Get the most from The National