NEW DELHI – Congress on Monday demanded an inquiry headed by a retired High Court or Supreme Court judge into the Morbi bridge collapse incident in Gujarat which claimed 141 lives.
“We offer our condolences to the victims’ families and don’t want to indulge in politics but want an inquiry by a retired judge of the Supreme Court or High Court to fix accountability of people involved in the construction of the bridge,” party President Mallikarjun Kharge said.
After learning of the travesty, the Congress president immediately took stock of the situation last night, spoke to senior leaders of Gujarat Pradesh Congress and urged them to ensure that members of the Congress Party and frontal organisations help in rescue and relief work in every possible way, an AICC statement said.
He expects the government of Gujarat to provide immediate medical treatment to the injured and to search for all those still missing, besides providing appropriate financial assistance to the families of the bereaved and injured, it further read.
The party chief has assured the people of Gujarat that the Congress party stands in solidarity with them as per the statement.
Meanwhile, former Congress president Sonia Gandhi and senior party leader Rahul Gandhi have also expressed their grief at the loss of lives in the tragedy.
With the recovery of more bodies, the death toll increased to 141 this morning, Rajkot Range Inspector General of Police Ashok Yadav confirmed.
However, Minister of State for Home Harsh Sanghavi put the toll at 132 saying two persons remain unaccounted for.
Once the two missing persons are located, the search and rescue operations will be concluded, he added.
The Morbi government hospital has released a list of 99 deceased, but has not mentioned the age of the victims.
The tragedy took place on Sunday evening when about 400 people were on the suspension bridge on the Machhu river. -IANS