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Bombay HC seeks response from WR, NIA on PIL for probe in stampede

The Bombay High Court issued notices to the Western Railway and the National Investigation Agency for their response to a PIL seeking a probe by the anti-terror agency into the stampede on the railway foot-over-bridge here last week.

On September 29, a stampede on the stairwell of a narrow foot over bridge (FOB) at the station left 23 dead and over 30 injured.

“Issue notice to respondents…petition to be heard after three weeks,” a division bench headed by Justice B R Gavai said.

The court said NIA’s lawyer Aruna Kamat Pai and Western Railway’s advocate Suresh Kumar should respond on the next date of hearing, while posting the matter after three weeks.

The PIL filed by city residents Faisal Banaraswala and Abdul Qureshi sought the Indian Railways to remove bottlenecks on such bridges, clear pathways, install escalators and create multiple entry and exit points.

“Several commuters who take the bridge on a regular basis had warned railway officials and the government via letters and tweets about the condition of the bridge. But no action was taken,” the PIL submitted.

The PIL claimed that the stampede was triggered by a rumour that the bridge was going to collapse.

“The rumour sparked chaos among the commuters. The police is required to investigate if the incident is a soft terror attack. The NIA should be asked to probe this angle,” said the petition.

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