Vaishno Devi Stampede: Four Months On, Govt Yet To Receive P...| MENAFN.COM

Monday, 04 July 2022 06:00 GMT

Vaishno Devi Stampede: Four Months On, Govt Yet To Receive Probe Report

(MENAFN- Kashmir Observer)

Srinagar- Over four months after a stampede at the Mata Vaishno Devi shrine in Katra left 12 devotees dead, the Jammu and Kashmir government is yet to receive the report from the three-member panel constituted to probe the deadly episode.

In response to an RTI filed by Jammu based Advocate, Sheikh Shakeel on April 7 April this year seeking copy of the enquiry report from the Government of J&K on the circumstances leading to the stampede at the busy shrine, the General Administrative Department (GAD) has said that it hasn't received any enquiry report so far.
The reply to the RTI has been furnished by the Deputy Secretary to the Government, Shuaib Mohammad Naikoo.

On January 1, at least 12 people died and over a dozen were injured in a stampede at the Mata Vaishno Devi shrine in Jammu and Kashmir triggered by a heavy rush of devotees. The incident occurred outside the sanctum sanctorum of the shrine on Trikuta hills in the erstwhile state of J&K.

Shortly after the tragic incident, Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha ordered a high level inquiry by a three-member panel which was asked to submit its report to the government within a week. The Inquiry Committee was headed by Principal Secretary (Home) with ADGP, Jammu and Divisional Commissioner, Jammu as members.

Talking to Kashmir Observer, the RTI applicant Sheikh Shakeel expressed his dismay over the response of the administration in submitting the probe report.

“Despite a lapse of four months since the incident, the Government is yet to register any enquiry report that can reveal the circumstances which had unfolded the unfortunate incident,” Shakeel said, adding“Besides this, the enquiry report will also demystify the identity of the guilty persons or any department.”

He further said,“An enquiry report is the only way to provide justice to the 12 deceased innocent civilians. However, it looks as if J&K Government is least bothered about bringing culprits to justice. The deceased are non-J&K people. Some were from Madhya Pradesh, some from Uttar Pradesh and others from Gwalior. For their families, locals of the J&K are the only way to justice. But, the way our Government is acting, I can't see any justice for these families.”

Shakeel further said,“J&K LG had promised that the enquiry will be wrapped in a week but it's almost been five months and there's no headway into the enquiry”. Flagging more of his concerns, he added,“Something is being concealed. J&K LG keeps reiterating that his administration will uphold rule of law in J&K but why hasn't law been upheld in this horrifying incident?”

Notably, a copy of the response from the administration has also been sent to the Under Secretary to the Government, Rameshwar Kumar.

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