Nagpur : Almost all trade and business establishments in Bhandara were remained closed on Monday in response to a bandh called by the Bharatiya Janata Party BJP to express anguish over the death of 10 infants in a fire at the district civil hospital, a couple of days ago.
Maharashtra chief minister Uddhav Thackeray, who visited the hospital on Sunday, ordered an inquiry, headed by the divisional commissioner, Sanjiv Kumar. The BJP workers took out a bike rally in Bhandara city and appealed to all to keep their establishments closed in support of the bandh. The opposition BJP insisted either a judicial inquiry or a probe by a retired judge into the Saturday’s incident. The BJP is not happy with the inquiry, headed by the divisional commissioner. The former head of the Fire Brigade of Mumbai Municipal Corporation is one of the members of the inquiry committee.
The state BJP general secretary Chandrashekhar Bawankule and the local Lok Sabha member Sunil Mendhe said that the entire episode was man-made and the guilty must be dealt with firmly. He pointed out that a proposal of Rs 1.50-crore was sent to the directorate of state health services in May last year for purchasing fire safety materials for the hospital which was not addressed by the department so far. “If those materials were provided in time we could have saved the infants,” both the BJP leaders said and demanded a compensation of Rs10-lakh to the bereaved families, instead of Rs 5-lakh, announced by the chief minister Uddhav Thackeray.
The one-day bandh at Bhandara was total. “It was totally spontaneous,” claims both the BJP leaders. The BJP also held a condolence meeting at the busy Gandhi square in the evening to pay the tributes of 10 infants and extended their condolences to the bereaved families.