JHABUA: Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan today announced a slew of measures to rehabilitate those who had lost their kin in the Petlawad explosion that claimed 89 lives and asserted that Rajendra Kasawa, the main accused will be tracked down and arrested soon.
Visiting the tragedy-struck town for the second consecutive day despite being heckled yesterday, Chouhan announced that government will deposit Rs 25,000 each as fixed deposit in the bank accounts of girls who lost their parents in blast that occurred on Saturday.
Women, who lost their husbands will be given appointment in Anganwadis and likewise men, who lost their wives will be deployed as Chowkidars. Besides, girls who lost their parents will be given free education, he said.
"We will arrest Kasawa at any cost. He will be arrested shortly," Chouhan told reporters.
Chouhan has so far visited 11 villages to express solidarity with those who lost their kin in the explosion. He will visit six more villages later in the day.
The opposition Congress had called a bandh in the district today to offer condolence to the dead and to protest the explosion. The bandh partially affected normal life in the district. Shops and markets opened after noon.
The Congress had demanded a CBI probe and alleged that Kasawa was allowed to store explosives in a busy area against the rules as he was the district head of BJP's Vyapar Mandal and accused Chouhan of "complete abuse and misuse of power".
Meanwhile, BJP Madhya Pradesh president Nand Kumar Singh Chouhan refuted the Congress allegation and said Kaswa has no connection with BJP.
Kasawa, who had stocked piles of explosives in a building close to a public place, has been absconding since the explosion occurred on Saturday.
Angry with the incident, local lawyers body has given a call for not defending accused in the courts.
In a related development, police seized 69 detonators and large number of gelatin sticks from the residence of the brother of the main accused in the incident.
Police recovered 69 detonators and two batteries from the Mahavir Colony residence of Narendra Kasawa, Assistant Sub Inspector (ASI) Virendra Singh Bais said.
Gelatin sticks too were recovered from the place, but their exact number is not yet known, he said.
Narendra is also absconding along with his family from Petlawad, he said.
An intensive search operation was launched following reports of large number of persons storing gelatin sticks in an illegal manner for carrying out mining and blasting rocks for construction work, he said.