3 officials arrested over Ghaziabad crematorium incident; victims' kin block Delhi-Meerut highway

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Ghaziabad, Jan 4 (PTI) Three civic officials were arrested on Monday over the collapse of a crematorium roof that claimed 24 lives here as tension spiralled in the area with the families of the victims blocking the Delhi-Meerut highway by placing two bodies on the road to press for their demand for higher compensation.

They also demanded a government job for each of the grieving family as officials tried to pursue them to lift the blockade.

Superintendent of Police (Rural) Iraj Raja said that Muradnagar Nagar Palika Executive Officer Niharika Singh, Junior Engineer Chandra Pal and Supervisor Ashish were arrested this morning.

Police teams are also conducting raids at possible hideouts of contractor Ajay Tyagi to arrest him, Raja said.

The road blockade near the Muradnagar Police Station had led to a massive traffic jam with hundreds of vehicles getting piled up during the morning rush hour.

The protesters were insisting the district magistrate be called for a talk with them so that they can register their demands including Rs 20 lakh compensation for each of the grieving families and a government job for one of their members.

District Magistrate Ajay Shankar Pandey and Senior Superintendent of Police Kalanidhi Nithani later reached the protest site and were speaking to the protesters, officials said.

The road was partially opened after the officers reached there and two-wheelers and ambulances were allowed to pass, they said.

Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath had Sunday announced Rs 2 lakh as financial relief for the families of each man killed.

Twenty-four people, most of them attending a funeral, were killed and 17 others injured when the roof of a shelter at a cremation ground in Muradnagar here collapsed on Sunday.

Officials said construction work, estimated to cost around Rs 55 crore, on the shelter corridor was started two months ago and it was opened for public nearly 15 days ago. PTI COR TIR