15 officials suspended after committee submits inquiry report into Murree tragedy

LAHORE: Following a brief delay in the submission of the investigation report by the five-member Inquiry Committee into the Murree tragedy, 15 civil servants have been suspended for failing to perform their duties which led to the disaster.

Members of the investigative committee had submitted their findings to Punjab Chief Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar on Wednesday.

Addressing a press conference, the chief minister revealed details of the report’s findings and said 15 officials, including Deputy Commissioner Rawalpindi, have been suspended and disciplinary action ordered against them. .

Buzdar also mentioned that while an investigation into the matter is still ongoing, disciplinary action has been ordered against these 15 officers following the Murree tragedy as “the relevant authorities have been unable to exercise their functions”.

“The government has delivered on its promise of a transparent investigation into the Murree tragedy,” Buzdar said, adding that the investigation report highlighted the authorities’ shortcomings.

It is relevant to mention here that a five-member commission of inquiry, set up in connection with the Murree tragedy, prepared a report which was presented to the CM of Punjab.

Based on the report’s recommendations, Murree’s Assistant Commissioner was also suspended along with Murree’s Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP).

Buzdar further stated that the Chief Traffic Officer of Rawalpindi (CTO), Deputy Superintendent of Traffic Police (DSP), Divisional Forest Officer of Murree, District Emergency Officer of Murree, Murree Rescue 1122 in charge and the director of the Punjab Disaster Management Authority (PDMA) were also suspended. and disciplinary measures were ordered against them, he added.

What happened?

On January 8, 23 people died of carbon monoxide poisoning while trapped in their cars as thousands of passenger vehicles were stranded in Murree due to heavy snowfall.

It is worth recalling that following the tragic incident, the Punjab government declared Murree a disaster area after heavy snowfall wreaked havoc in the city.

According to the Murree local government, rain and blizzards were expected around Murree, with thunderstorms at speeds of 50 to 90 km/h accompanied by heavy snowfall.

Separately, the Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Thursday also reprimanded the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) and found it responsible for the Murree tragedy.

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