In Kanpur Accident That Killed 31


A day after 26 people died in a tractor-trolley accident here, a station house officer was suspended for alleged “dereliction of duty” while the tractor driver was still missing.
A three-member committee has been formed to probe the charges of negligence in providing treatment to the injured victims.

Talking to PTI over phone, Kanpur District Magistrate Vishak G Ayyar said the committee will be headed by Additional District Magistrate, (Finance and Revenue) Rajesh Kumar, while Chief Medical Officer Alok Ranjan and director Ursula Horseman Memorial Hospital (UHM) will be its members.

The inquiry committee has been formed after the family of the dead and the injured expressed dissatisfaction over treatment provided at Community Health Centre (Bheetergaon), he added.

The committee has been asked to submit the detailed report on whether there was any delay or negligence in providing medical facilities to the injured.

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, who visited the injured at the hospital and also met the bereaved families at Kortha village on Sunday, gave a slew of directions including a complete ban on the use of loading vehicles like tractor-trolley, pick-ups, etc for public transportation in the state.

Two telephone helplines were also announced to report violations of traffic rules.

Mr Ayyar said of the 26 dead, 14 are women and 10 are children.

“The SHO of Saadh police station has been suspended for dereliction of duty,” he said.

A senior police official said the accident spot was near Bhadeuna village, barely a kilometre from the Saadh police station, but the SHO “reached there after around one hour.”

“The death count stands at 26, while the number of injured is nine. There were 35 passengers on the ill-fated tractor-trolley. The post-mortem examination was conducted at night. The cremation is being carried out at Deori Ghat in Maharajpur,” the DM said.

According to the eyewitnesses, the tractor was being driven at a high speed despite requests by passengers to slow down, Additional Director General of Police (Kanpur zone) Bhanu Bhaskar told reporters.

“Subsequently, the driver lost control over the tractor and it overturned. The women and children came under the trolley,” he said.

He said the tractor driver, Raju, is missing.

The victims were on their way to Ghatampur after attending “mundan” (shaving a baby’s hair for the first time) ceremony of Raju’s son at the Chandrika Devi temple in Fatehpur, an official said.

Raju’s mother Ram Janki (55) and daughter Riya (8) were among those killed in the tragedy, the official added.

“Once he is caught, other things will be probed. Five other people who were with the driver are yet to be traced,” Mr Bhaskar said.

Asked whether the driver was under the influence of alcohol, he said they were looking into it.

Wails of grieving families filled the air in Kortha village after the massive tragedy on Saturday evening.

Chief Minister Adityanath visited the village, which is 4-5 kilometres from the accident site, and consoled the families of the victims.

A villager, Alok Nishad, alleged that police and district administration officials didn’t allow the people to leave the Deori ghat after the last rites of the victims to stop them from interacting with the chief minister so that the “negligence” of officials is not exposed.

The district magistrate, however, said the chief minister visited 12 houses and met the families who had lost their loved ones in the tragic accident.

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