As demands grow for stricter action against civic officials responsible for the safety of the Dockyard building that collapsed last week, the BMC reiterated on Thursday that while its staff may have been negligent, there was no criminal intent.
The matter was raised at the weekly standing committee meeting, where chairman Rahul Shewale pointed out to the arrest of BMC engineer Pravin Rane in the case of the collapse of the Aftab Manzil building, in Mahim, in June.
He alleged he had been thrashed by police in custody and had been hospitalised. “He has been beaten up for no fault of his. His name was cleared in the Aftab Manzil incident. The BMC should write to the police against the beating of (Pravin) Rane, who has been admitted to JJ Hospital,” said Shewale.
Additional municipal commissioner Mohan Adtani said that Rane had no role in the Mahim building matter. “We will write to the police commissioner in this regard as there is no criminal angle to the case. If the police have beat him it is wrong and we will raise the issue with them,” Adtani said.
The additional commissioner also said that in the Dockyard building case disciplinary action is being taken against those responsible. “There is negligence and we are taking disciplinary action, but there is no criminal angle and we will apprise the police about this too,” Adtani said.
But his response did not satisfy the members and they adjourned the meeting to express their dissatisfaction on the matter.
“Sixty-one people died in the building crash in Dockyard and you say that there is no criminal angle to it,” asked Manoj Kotak, BJP corporator. BJP group leader Dilip Patel said that the BMC should not write to the police till the inquiry into the Dockyard incident is completed.
‘Civic engineer says not beaten up by cops’
Rajiv Jalota, additional municipal commissioner, visited Pravin Rane, G-north ward engineer, in JJ hospital on Thursday. A senior BMC official said Jalota learned that “(Pravin) Rane has been in hospital since a month to undergo surgery on his foot. Rane told Jalota that cops did not beat him.” Rane was arrested in connection with the collapse of the Aftab Manzil building in June.