Gujarat’s former deputy chief minister Nitin Patel has turned down any direct or indirect involvement of the state government in the recent cable bridge collapse tragedy, claiming that the Morbi administration was responsible for its renovation and opening.
“Oreva is an old company for repairing watches but only Morbi municipality knows on which qualification it handed over the work of bridge renovation,” he added.
Reacting to the statement, the Shiv Sena faction led by Uddhav Thackeray said on Tuesday that the Gujarat government cannot avoid responsibility for the deaths caused by the Morbi bridge collapse. It questioned whether it should be called an “act of fraud, conspiracy, or a mere accident”.
On Tuesday, Delhi Chief Minister and Aam Aadmi Party national convener Arvind Kejriwal said that the incident in Gujarat was the result of widespread corruption, and prayed for those who died in the incident.
He insisted that the Gujarat state cabinet resign in the aftermath of such a major incident, and that the assembly election be held urgently.
Meanwhile, the Supreme Court announced on Tuesday morning that it will hear a petition for the formation of a judicial commission to investigate the incident on November 14.
In the PIL, the petitioner, Advocate Vishal Tiwari stated that the accident that resulted in the collapse of the bridge, resulting in more than 134 casualties, proved the negligence and complete failure of government authorities.
“Currently, an FIR has been registered against the maintenance and management agencies of the bridge, under Sections 304 (culpable homicide not amounting to murder), 308 (attempt to commit culpable homicide), and 114 (abettor present when offence is committed) of the India Penal Code,” said Morbi B Division Police Inspector Prakashbhai Dekavadiya. Nine staff members of the Oreva Group have been booked under the charges.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be visiting Morbi today, according to Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel’s office.