Mumbai, Sep 29 (IANS) In a blistering attack on its ally the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), the Shiv Sena on Friday termed the stampede in which 22 persons were killed on a narrow foot overbridge here as a “public massacre”.
Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut told the media: “The stampede on the foot overbridge at Elphinstone Road railway station is a public massacre of the people by the government.”
He demanded that Railway Minister Piyush Goyal and senior railway officials must be booked and prosecuted for culpable homicide.
Raut also slammed the BJP for the much-touted Bullet Train project and said commuters’ safety and security must be accorded greater priority.
Another Sena MP, Rahul Shewale, said he wrote to former Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu in April 2015 demanding that the width of the overbridge where the stampede occurred should be widened for commuters’ safety.
However, Prabhu rejected the plea on grounds of paucity of funds and operational constraints, he said.
Other Sena leaders too demanded the resignation of Goyal, a Mumbaikar who took charge of the railway ministry this month, and sought the scrapping of the Bullet Train project.
Hundreds of Shiv Sena activists shouted slogans against Goyal and Maharashtra Education Minister Vinod Tawde near the KEM Hospital when the two leaders reached there.
The Congress and the Nationalist Congress Party also targetted the BJP for ignoring the plight of millions of Mumbai commuters and demanded a judicial probe into the incident.
Goyal arrived in Mumbai on Friday afternoon on a scheduled trip to launch a slew of new suburban train services as a Dussehra-eve bonanza but cancelled all his engagements after the tragedy.
Instead, he visited the KEM Hospitals and met the kin of the dead and the injured and held discussions with senior railway officials.
In one of the worst tragedies on the Mumbai suburban network, 22 persons were killed and another 32 were hurt in a massive stampede on the overbridge between Elphinstone Road and Parel railway stations.
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