The Uddhav Thackeray-led Shiv Sena faction said on Tuesday that the Gujarat government cannot shirk its responsibility for the loss of life in the Morbi Bridge collapse and asked whether it should be classified as an “act of fraud, conspiracy or just an accident”.
When a similar incident took place in West Bengal in 2016, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had criticized that state government and called it an “act of God,” said an editorial in the Thackeray camp’s spokesperson “Saamana.”
The Marathi newspaper also questioned the quality of the renovation of the Morbi Suspension Bridge, which opened to the public four days before it collapsed.
The suspension bridge over the Machchhu River in the town of Morbi in Gujarat collapsed Sunday night, killing 134 people, a senior police official said earlier.
“Will the lost lives come back? The company responsible for the maintenance of the bridge must be investigated, but the Gujarat government cannot evade its responsibility,” said the editorial in Saamana.
“Should this incident be labeled an act of fraud, a conspiracy or just an accident?” it asked.
“Was the renovation of the bridge complete or not? How did the bridge become overloaded (with people). There are several questions and the Gujarat government has to answer them all. Even the Center can ignore its responsibility,” it said.
If the renovation of the bridge was not done properly, why has it been reopened to the public? asked the Marathi publication.
Police arrested nine people on Monday, including four from the Oreva group that managed the suspension bridge, and filed a case against companies charged with maintaining and operating the British-era structure.
Video footage has surfaced of the moments before Sunday night’s deadly collapse, showing the bridge breaking in seconds, knocking down dozens of visitors walking on the swinging structure that had reopened six days ago after extensive repairs, but without a certificate of fitness. .
Read all Latest political news here