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CM, minister heckled on way to Jhabua explosion site

Jhabua (MP): Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan and his Cabinet colleague Antar Singh Arya were allegedly heckled today while they were en route to the site at Petlawad town where a massive blast caused
PTI September 13, 2015 13:48 IST
PTI

Jhabua (MP): Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan and his Cabinet colleague Antar Singh Arya were allegedly heckled today while they were en route to the site at Petlawad town where a massive blast caused by mining explosives left 89 people dead. 

Chouhan and Arya were stopped at the new bus stand square close to the tragedy site by angry protesters, including Congressmen, who came out on the roads in large numbers shouting slogans against the state government and district administration, alleging that it had not taken appropriate steps to prevent the tragedy, eyewitnesses said.

The locals said the huge pile of explosives should not have been stored in a building at a public place, according to the law. 

They demanded stern action against the concerned officials for the lapse. The protesters also shouted slogans demanding the sacking of District Collector Aruna Gupta and also allegedly manhandled the area's Sub-Divisional Officer of Police (SDOP) A R Khan, who tried the clear the way for the Chief Minister.

Gauging the public anger, Chouhan and Arya squatted on the ground after being gheraoed and gave a patient hearing to the protesters for more than 15 minutes before leaving for the mishap site, the eyewitnesses said. 

Earlier, Chouhan and Arya, who is the district guardian minister, visited the injured persons at the Petlawad community health centre. At least 89 people were killed and nearly 100 injured yesterday after a massive blast caused by mining explosives stored in a building ripped through a crowded area in Petlawad town here. 

The blast completely destroyed at least two buildings--one in which explosive material for digging wells was stored and an adjacent restaurant, and damaging several houses, officials said.

The CM had yesterday ordered a judicial inquiry into the incident and also announced an ex-gratia of Rs 2 lakh each to kin of the deceased and Rs 50,000 for those injured.