Pranab seeks probe into Stephen Court blaze
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Last Updated: Sunday, March 28, 2010, 21:43
Kolkata: Union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee on Sunday demanded an inquiry into the Stephen Court fire and virtually flayed the opposition's attempt to blame the state government's 'poor' disaster management for the tragic incident that claimed 32 lives.

"There is a need for an inquiry to ascertain the cause of the fire and if (fire) safety measures were taken, but blaming or abusing anyone will not bring alive those who have died," Mukherjee, who is the state Congress chief, told reporters after a party meeting.

He was asked if the state government's mishandling of the situation was responsible for the loss of so many lives and the horrific scenes of men and women jumping to their deaths from the burning highrise on Park Street.

Mukherjee said an enquiry was indeed required to find out whether there existed any lapses and defects leading to the fire "so that such incidents did not recur in future".

Mukherjee's critical comments came after Trinamool Congress chief and Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee slammed the 'poor' disaster management by the state government and its 'doing little for implementation of fire safety measures' in old buildings.

Banerjee had also alleged that rescue operations had not been carried out properly.

Trinamool Congress and Congress in the Assembly jointly demanded immediate resignation of the fire services minister, Pratim Chatterjee, for the frequent fire incidents in the city, while Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacherjee came down on a builder-administration nexus.


First Published: Sunday, March 28, 2010, 21:43

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