Mumbai: Soon after the state government announced a one-man probe panel, Shiv Sena (UBT) MP and chief spokesperson Sanjay Raut claimed that at least 50-75 people died in the Navi Mumbai post-‘Maharashtra Bhushan’ Award 2022 event, here on Thursday.
Speaking to the media, Raut said that he has interacted with his party workers from Navi Mumbai and Raigad towns who have informed that the actual death toll is much higher than the official figures released by Chief Minister Eknath Shinde’s government.
Accusing the government of hiding the real extent of the tragedy, the Sena (UBT) leader said that considering the people in the surrounding villages, the figure is much higher, “between 50-75, but the ruling Shiv Sena’s members have allegedly gone to the victims’ homes to suppress their voices.
“This tyrannical government has lost the right to continue in power and it must immediately resign,” Raut demanded.
The Maha Vikas Aghadi’s Nationalist Congress Party’ Leader of Opposition (Assembly) Ajit Pawar, Sena (UBT)’s Leader of Opposition (Council) Ambadas Danve, state Congress President Nana Patole and other top leaders have launched a sustained attack on the government for the past five days.
Among other things, they clamored for the resignation of Shinde, appointing a judicial probe by a retired judge, a 2-day Special Legislature Session, dismissal of the government by Governor Ramesh Bais, spelling out SoPs for such mega-events in future, enhancing the compensation to Rs 1 crore for each victim, etc.
Signalling a climbdown, the government on Wednesday ordered a ban on all such open-air events between 12-5 p.m. daily this summer, and appointed a one-man probe panel headed by Additional Chief Secretary (Revenue) who will submit his report on the disaster within a month.
It will also make recommendations to the state government regarding precautions to be taken in future in organising similar mega-functions, like the ‘Maharashtra Bhushan Award’ 2022 event in Kharghar last Sunday.
Union Home Minister Amit Shah had conferred the prestigious ‘Maharashtra Bhushan Award’ 2022 on reformer Dattatreya Narayan Dharmadhikari – revered as ‘Appasaheb’ – at the Corporate Park grounds when his estimated 20 lakh followers sat patiently for nearly five hours in the blazing temperatures of 42 degrees Celsius.