The National Human Rights Commission has sent a notice to the Gujarat government over deaths of students in a fire at a coaching centre in Surat.
A massive fire broke out at the city's Takshashila Arcade yesterday. Nearly 20, people mostly students, died in the fire
"Considering the incident as a grave violation of the human rights of the young students, the Commission has issued a notice to the chief secretary, government of Gujarat calling for a detailed report in the matter, including status of the criminal cases registered against the building owner and others found guilty, along with action taken against the public servants concerned," the rights panel said.
In the response, the chief secretary has been asked to include the legal status of the building, its construction, fire-fighting measures, fire safety clearance and relief granted to families of the victims.
"The Commission also expects that the best and free of cost treatment is provided by the state to the injured persons. Response from the state government is expected within four weeks," the NHRC statement read.
Most of the students suffocated, many died of injuries after jumping off windows to escape the fire. In a video clip of the incident, some young students at the Complex could be seen jumping off the third and fourth floors amid plumes of thick smoke.
According to eye witnesses, at least 10 students had jumped out to save themselves from the blaze. The state government had ordered a detailed inquiry into the incident.
As per media reports, the fire department officials reached the spot and deployed 19 fire trucks and two hydraulic platforms to douse the fire and evacuate the people trapped in the building, the NHRC said.
"An inquiry into the matter has reportedly been ordered by the state government. Reportedly, Rs 4 lakh to the next of kin of the deceased have been announced by the state government and as a precautionary measure all the tuition centres or coaching centres, etc, have been ordered to be closed in the area. The fire hazard checks are also being conducted in various places," the statement said.
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