Halloween Stampede: Police Takes Responsibility For Itaewon Crush, Promotes Culture Of Accountability

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Halloween Stampede: Police Takes Responsibility For Itaewon Crush, Promotes Culture Of Accountability

South Korea’s police have mentioned that their response to the Halloween stampede was ‘inadequate.’ Top-level government officials, including ministers, have also come forward to tender their apology to the citizens.

It's a fact that governance is a mere practice on paper without accountability. Setting an example, South Korea's police chief has mentioned that their emergency response to the Itaewon crush, which claimed the lives of over 150 people, was 'inadequate.' It comes as the first acknowledgement from South Korean officials that they did not do their best to prevent the tragedy.

The world is aware of the tragedy and its consequences, which occurred on October 29 during Halloween festivities in the Itaewon neighbourhood of Seoul, South Korea. According to a report by NDTV, At least 154 people were killed, and not less than 149 others were injured. Despite being sorrowful, the world appreciates that South Korea's police have shown the courage to take responsibility on their shoulders.

South Korean Top Govt Officials Tender Apologies

South Korea's commissioner general of police, Yoon Hee-Keun, was among several other police officers who apologised for the tragedy and took 'heavy responsibility.' The police chief mentioned, "I will do my best to prevent such a tragic incident from happening again in the future while once again feeling the unlimited responsibility for public safety through this accident."

The Minister of Interior, Lee Sang-min, in the national assembly, also apologised to the citizens for the failure of the government to tackle the Itaewon crush. He said it's unfortunate for him as a father with a daughter and a son. He added, "It is difficult to express in words how unreal this situation is, and it is difficult to accept it."

The police chief also mentioned that they received several calls before the incident, alerting them to take charge for normalising the situation, but they failed to tackle the problem. According to officials, the first call on the emergency number was made at 18:34 local time, hours before the crush reportedly began.

The police station received several calls in the next three-four hours, but the response was 'disappointing,' the police chief regretfully mentioned. The Prime Minister of the East Asian nation, Han Duck-soo, is now on his feet to conduct an intensive investigation to see if the police officials took proper action after receiving the calls.

From police officials to public elected representatives, everyone has stepped forward to take responsibility for the tragedy and promoted a culture of accountability. They also ensured their citizens that no such tragedy would happen in the future due to mismanagement from the government's side.

Who's Responsible For Morbi Bridge Collapse?

The death of over 130 people, primarily women and children, in the Morbi bridge collapse tragedy has brought the government into the witness box. After the incident and backlash by people from across the country, the police arrested nine people, including two ticket booking clerks and two managers at the bridge site.

According to the First Information Report (FIR), the bridge was closed eight months ago for repair and maintenance work. Following its completion, it was reopened by Oreva company on October 26 without any fitness certificate issued by the civic authorities.

After learning the facts mentioned in the FIR, the bridge collapse tragedy seems like a man-made tragedy. Notably, the bridge was reopened for the public without any fitness certificate, which itself was a big threat. According to a report by The New Indian Express, as many as 650 visitors were allowed to enter the bridge on Sunday, which has the capacity to accommodate only 150-200 people.

There has been no official clarification by the contractor or the management committee of the Morbi bridge on the issue. However, an arrested manager of the Oreva company has mentioned that the bridge collapse was 'God's Will.'

Stepping forward, the West Bengal chief minister, Mamata Banerjee, highlighted that a judicial commission under the Supreme Court should be set up to probe the tragic incident and the accountability for the bridge collapse should be fixed, pointing out that the BJP-led Gujarat government should take responsibility for the horror.

In fact, accountability and taking responsibility for the incident strengthens the functions of democracy and eliminates scopes of criticism. By taking full responsibility for the incident, the government can ensure justice for the victims of the Morbi bridge collapse.

Differentiating South Korea & Gujarat's Tragedy

In the horrific incident in South Korea's Itaewon and Gujarat's Morbi, there are some differences that need public attention. South Korea's police took responsibility for the incident, and top-level government officials tendered their apologies and ensured that due to the government's failure, no such tragedies would occur in the future.

Whereas, after Gujarat's Morbi bridge collapse tragedy, no one has taken full accountability for the loss of lives, civic authorities are yet to explain why the bridge was reopened without any fitness certificate, and the public elected representatives haven't yet apologised and taken responsibility on their shoulders.

Also Read: In A First, Two Women CRPF Officers Get Promoted To IG Rank; To Lead RAF & Bihar Sector

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Writer : Ronit Kumar Singh
Editor : Shiva Chaudhary
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