Woman killed in stampede at BJP's utensil distribution program for construction workers

Police personnel guard after a welcome gate in a stampede at a programe organised by the Bharatiya Janta Party in Nagpur, Saturday, March 9, 2024.
Police personnel guard after a welcome gate in a stampede at a programe organised by the Bharatiya Janta Party in Nagpur, Saturday, March 9, 2024.

Nagpur | A 65-year-old woman was killed and four others were injured in a stampede at a utensil distribution programme organised by the BJP for construction workers here on Saturday, police said.

Opposition leaders including former home minister Anil Deshmukh criticised the BJP over the incident and demanded that a criminal case be registered against those responsible.

The incident took place at a camp organised by the BJP's Nagpur city unit at Kavivarya Suresh Bhat Auditorium in the Reshimbagh area around 10.30 am, an official from Kotwali police station said.

The party had arranged the camp to distribute utensils and other essential items to workers registered with the Maharashtra Building and Other Construction Workers Welfare Board, he said.

People started gathering outside the venue around 5 am, and a massive crowd had formed by the time the gates were opened to the beneficiaries, the official said.

As the crowd rushed in, some women fell and sustained injuries, he said.

A woman identified as Manubai Tulshiram Rajput was rushed to the government hospital where doctors declared her dead, the official said, adding that four other women sustained minor injuries.

At least 50 police personnel, including women, were deployed at the venue at the time of the incident, the official said.

A case of accidental death has been registered, and a probe has been initiated into the incident, he said.

City BJP chief Jitendra alias Bunty Kukde claimed that the woman died due to suffocation and not stampede.

People turned up in unexpected numbers, and the senior citizen woman fainted due to heat and suffocation, he told PTI, adding that she was rushed to the hospital in an ambulance but she succumbed.

NCP (SP) leader and former Maharashtra home minister Anil Deshmukh alleged that the woman lost her life because of mismanagement.

A case of culpable homicide should be registered against the organises, he demanded.

General secretary of the Maharashtra Congress committee Vishal Muttemwar also condemned the incident and demanded that the administration take action against the BJP functionaries as well as the organisers.

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