Gujarat: Modi, Shah to get low-key welcome due to Surat mishap

Published: May 26, 2019, 18:23 IST | mid-day online desk

Modi, who will be sworn in for the second term as Prime Minister on May 30, is scheduled to visit the state today to seek the blessings of his mother Heeraben Modi

Gujarat: Modi, Shah to get low-key welcome due to Surat mishap
Narendra Modi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and party President Amit Shah will not receive a grand welcome on Sunday owing to the Surat fire tragedy which claimed the lives of 20 people.

"The Surat incident is very unfortunate. The government is taking all precautions so that no such incidents take place in future. Both Gujaratis (Modi, Shah) are coming to the state after a massive victory. But the BJP team in Gujarat has decided to welcome Prime Minister Modi and party president Amit Shah with simplicity keeping the Surat fire tragedy in mind," BJP's Gujarat unit president Jitu Vaghani told ANI.

Modi, who will be sworn in for the second term as Prime Minister on May 30, is scheduled to visit the state today to seek the blessings of his mother Heeraben Modi.

A blaze ripped through the coaching centre located in Takshashila Arcade in Surat's Sarthana area on Friday, killing as many as 20 people, mostly students, and injuring many others.

Several students were seen jumping off the building to escape the inferno. Some people were unable to escape and died on the spot. As the rescue operations were carried out, charred bodies were found. The fire was reportedly triggered by a short circuit.

Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani has ordered an investigation and announced a compensation of Rs 4 lakh each to the families of those killed.

n NGO working in the field of fire safety and prevention has written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, demanding that a strong law be enacted to prevent fire tragedies.

The United Human Rights Federation (UHRF) made the demand in the wake of a fire in Gujarat's Surat district on Friday that led to the death of 22 students attending coaching classes.

"In February, 17 people died in a fire in a Karol Bagh hotel and now it is Surat, where innocent students have been killed in a fire tragedy. How many more fire accidents will we see before we get a strong fire law?" UHRF president Santosh Bagla said.

"We recently wrote to PM Modi to bring a strong law to prevent fire tragedies. We had even demanded that the BJP include it in its election manifesto," he said.

Bagla said unfortunately, no political party has so far shown a strong will to bring stringent laws despite the Supreme Court's directions in this connection.

"Violating fire safety laws is one of the major causes of fire accidents in India... every building in the country needs to comply with the National Building Code, 2016¿ The Supreme Court has observed in various hearings and judgments about non-implementation of fire safety rules properly in the buildings which results in lots of fire accidents and loss of lives and property," the NGO wrote to the prime minister.

On Friday, a massive fire engulfed a four-storey commercial complex in Gujarat's Surat, killing at least 18 girls and four teenage boys at a coaching centre, officials said.

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Edited by mid-day online desk with inputs from Agencies

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