Illegal constructions razed at Indore temple days after stepwell collapse claimed 36 lives

As many as 36 people died after a slab covering a ‘bawdi’ (well) broke at the Beleshwar Mahadev Jhulelal temple on the occasion of Ram Navami in Indore on March 30, 2023.

Indore: Bulldozers deployed by the Indore Municipal Corporation on Monday demolished illegal construction at the Beleshwar Jhulelal Mahadev Temple, ANI reported.

The spot witnessed 36 deaths last Thursday after its floor caved into a stepwell. District administration officials and police personnel were present in strength as bulldozers rolled in.

The mishap occurred at the Beleshwar Jhulelal Mahadev Temple around 11 am on March 30 when a havan was being organized on the occasion of the Ram Navami festival. The roof of the stepwell on which devotees were sitting collapsed, the report said.

Rescue operations began and continued for around 24 hours till Friday afternoon.

Modi and Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan announced ex gratia for the kin of those who died and compensation for those injured.

A total of 36 persons died and 16 people were rescued in the incident. The bodies were brought from all around to Patel Dharamshala in the city and after that, they were taken to Muktidham (crematorium) by ambulances and Gujarati community buses.

CM Chouhan and his cabinet ministers also inspected the rescue operation at the site of the incident. He said that a magisterial inquiry has been ordered into the incident and action will be taken against those found responsible.“An FIR was registered, and a magisterial inquiry was ordered into the incident. Action will be taken against those found responsible. The current priority is the rescue operation. The injured will be treated free of cost. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has also announced the ex-gratia amount to the victims. We have ordered an inspection of such step-wells and borewells across the state,” Chouhan said.

Indore Commissioner of Police (CP) Makrand Deoskar said, “A case has been registered against the President, Sewaram Galani, and Secretary, Murli Sabnani of temple trust under IPC section 304 (Punishment for culpable homicide not amounting to murder).”

Besides, the Indore Municipal Corporation (IMC) had issued notices regarding illegal construction at the stepwell of the temple.

As no action was taken on the matter, two officials of the municipal corporation, Building Officer P R Aroliya and Building Inspector Prabhat Tiwari were suspended by the IMC Commissioner Pratibha Pal on Friday.

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