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‘Height of Negligence’: Buzdar-led Govt Suspends 15 Officials in Connection With Murree Tragedy

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LAHORE– Punjab government Wednesday suspended from service 15 officials for showing negligence in connection with the Murree deaths. The action was taken in the wake of an inquiry report by the five-member probe committee on the Murree tragedy.

An investigation into the matter is still underway.

A five-member inquiry committee, set up in connection with the Murree tragedy, prepared a report which was presented to the Punjab CM.

Addressing a press conference, Chief Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar revealed the details of the findings of the report and said that Rawalpindi deputy commissioner has been removed and disciplinary action has been ordered against him.

Moreover, the Murree assistant commissioner has also been suspended along with Murree’s assistant superintendent of police (ASP).

Buzdar further said that the Rawalpindi chief traffic officer (CTO), Traffic deputy superintendent of police (DSP), Murree divisional forest officer, Murree district emergency officer, Murree Rescue 1122 in charge and Punjab Disaster Management Authority (PDMA) director have also been suspended and disciplinary action has been ordered against them, he added.

The chief minister said that disciplinary action has been ordered against these 15 officers over the Murree tragedy as “concerned authorities were unable to perform their duties.”

“The government has fulfilled its promise of a transparent inquiry into the Murree tragedy,” Buzdar said, adding the inquiry report has highlighted shortcomings of the authorities.

he CM told in the press conference that action is being taken by removing 15 officers from their posts in the light of recommendations of the inquiry committee. He said the Commissioner Rawalpindi division has been removed from his post and sent to the federal government and it was also recommended to suspend them.

The DC Rawalpindi is also removed and his services have been handed over to the federal government. It has been recommended to suspend him and disciplinary action be taken against him, he stated. AC Murree has been suspended and disciplinary action has been ordered against him, he added.

ASP Murree has been removed from his post and his services have also been handed over to the federal government, he further said. It has been recommended to suspend him and disciplinary action be taken against him.

The CTO Rawalpindi, DSP Traffic, SE Highways Circle-2 Rawalpindi, XEN Highway Rawalpindi, XEN Highway Mechanical Rawalpindi, SDO Highway Mechanical Murree, Divisional Forest Officer Murree, District Emergency Officer Murree, Incharge Murree Rescue 1122 and Director PDMA Punjab have also been suspended and disciplinary action has been ordered against them, he added.

Chief Minister Usman Bazdar said the tragedy that took place in Murree was sad and extremely painful in all respects. CM said that this is a great tragedy and a high-level inquiry committee headed by Additional Chief Secretary (Home) was constituted to determine the causes and those responsible for this mishap.

The Chief Minister said that he himself had gone there to review the situation. I had promised a transparent inquiry into the tragedy along-with action against those responsible which has been fulfilled.

Provincial Law Minister Raja Muhammad Basharat and SACM Hasaan Khawar were also present.

What Happened on Jan 8

As many 23 people had died due to carbon monoxide poisoning while being stuck in their cars as thousands of tourist vehicles ended up being stranded in Murree due to heavy snowfall.

It should be recalled that following the tragic incident, the Punjab government had declared Murree as a calamity-hit area after heavy snowfall wreaked havoc on the city.

According to the local administration of Murree, rain and blizzards were forecast around Murree, with thunderstorms at a speed of 50-90 kmph along with heavy snowfall.