Tripura: CPI(M) Calls for Judicial Probe Into Ulto Rath Yatra Tragedy
Representational Image. Image Courtesy: Wikimedia Commons
Agartala: The Communist Party of India (Marxist) (CPI(M)) in Tripura has demanded a judicial probe into the tragic incident that occurred during the Ulto Rath Yatra in Kumarghat, Unakoti district.
The party has called for an investigation by a sitting judge of the Tripura High Court into the incident, according to reports. At least seven people were electrocuted to death during the Ulto Rath Yatra, while 16 others sustained burn injuries.
Addressing a press conference, former Tripura Chief Minister, Manik Sarkar, said that a delegation from the party, including himself, visited Kumarghat to gather information about the incident.
During their visit, they held discussions with officials from the Public Works Department (PWD), Tripura State Electricity Corporation Limited (TSECL), and the Police Department.
Sarkar said that the police informed them that the mishap occurred due to the difference in the height of the Rath (chariot) on the first day of the Rath Yatra.
Despite police intervention and permission given for the route and loudspeaker, the organisers deviated from the designated route during the Ulto Rath Yatra.
Speaking at a press conference, former Chief Minister and Politburo member Manik Sarkar stated that a delegation from CPI(M), including himself, visited Kumarghat and held discussions with officials from the Public Works Department (PWD), Tripura State Electricity Corporation Limited (TSECL), and the Police Department to gather information about the incident.
"What we have seen is that the Rath of ISKCON was set up on the chassis of a large vehicle and it has a steering too. Police said that on the first day of the Rath Yatra, the height was different, which increased during the Ulto Ratha Yatra. When we asked him for the permission, the police personnel informed that they had given permission for the route and loudspeaker. But during the Ulto Ratha Yatra, they took the wrong route and the police prevented them but the organisers didn’t bother," Sarkar was quoted as saying by the India Today NE.
He added that TSECL officials confirmed that the chariot came into contact with a 33KV electric wire, which was higher than the chariot itself.
PWD officials also stated that no permission was sought from their department for the event.
"After returning to Agartala, we held a meeting to discuss the matter and have decided to demand a judicial inquiry by a sitting judge of the Tripura High Court. We also call for strict action against those found responsible," Sarkar further said.
"Additionally, we demand government employment for the dependents of the deceased and urge the government to take full responsibility for the children who have lost their parents. Furthermore, we urge the government to provide financial assistance to the injured until they have fully recovered," he added.
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