New Delhi: The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) of India has taken suo motu cognizance of a media report that a tragic incident occurred on February 6, 2024, in the outskirts of Harda district, Madhya Pradesh. The report states that approximately 11 individuals lost their lives, while nearly 200 sustained injuries due to a series of explosions at a fireworks factory. The devastating impact of the blast was felt several kilometers away from the factory, affecting nearby areas. Disturbing footage circulating online depicted bodies of victims strewn across roads and fields.
Consequently, the Commission, upon reviewing the seriousness of the situation, considers these events, if confirmed, to be a grave violation of human rights. In response, it has promptly issued notices to the Chief Secretary and the Director General of Police in Madhya Pradesh, requesting a comprehensive report on the incident within a four-week timeframe.
This report is expected to provide details on various aspects, including the status of the First Information Report (FIR), updated information regarding the health condition and medical treatment offered to the blast victims and their affected families. Additionally, the Commission seeks information on disciplinary actions taken against responsible parties, including any negligent officers, and measures implemented to prevent the recurrence of such tragic incidents.
According to the media report released on February 7, 2024, the factory comprised 32 halls filled with explosives, predominantly sutli bombs. Approximately 200 individuals were employed at the factory, with around 70 present during the morning shift when the explosions occurred. The factory had previously come under scrutiny for various illegal activities. In 2022, it was ordered to cease operations, and in 2021, following a blast that resulted in the deaths of two workers in 2015, the owner was sentenced to 10 years of imprisonment. However, the owner contested this ruling.