8 die of sunstroke after Maharashtra Bhushan award ceremony


Navi Mumbai: In a tragedy, at least eight persons succumbed to heat stroke and over three dozen have been hospitalised after a mammoth function in which Union Home Minister Amit Shah conferred the ‘Maharashtra Bhushan 2022’ award on reformer Appasaheb Dharmadhikari.

On hearing of the disaster, Chief Minister Eknath Shinde and others rushed to the MGM Hospital in Navi Mumbai late this evening to enquire after the wellbeing of the devotees admitted there.

“There is sad news… Around 7-8 persons have died due to heat stroke,” a grim Shinde later told media persons.

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He also announced a compensation of Rs 5 lakh to the kin of the deceased and said the other patients are being cared for properly.

Reacting sharply, Congress chief spokesperson Atul Londhe said that it was a government function and hence the safety of the participants was its duty.

“So many people have lost their lives. The government should be booked for culpable homicide and action should be taken against those responsible,” he demanded.

Londhe termed as “carelessness” on the part of the government to have organised such a massive event in the open grounds at the height of the summer season.

In fact, during his speech, Amit Shah had saluted the people for sitting patiently in the 42 degrees C temperatures as an example of their dedication to Appasaheb Dharmadhikari.

The organisers had claimed that nearly 20 lakh people had attended the mega-event and Shinde had proudly proclaimed how it had broken previous records.

Peopley had been trooping into Mumbai in buses, trucks or boats from the Konkan and other parts of the state since the past two days to witness the event.

Many could be seen wearing scarves, caps, umbrella caps or dupattas and other headgear to escape the blistering heat in the function which went on for nearly three hours this afternoon.

Soon after he was conferred the ‘Maharashtra Bhushan’ award, Dharmadhikari had donated the prize money of Rs 25 lakh to the CM’s Relief Fund.

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( With inputs from )

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