Rajkot Fire Incident: Town planning officer, three other govt officials arrested

On May 25, a welding spark ignited a fire at the TRP Game Zone in Rajkot, resulting in the deaths of 28 people.

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Rajkot Fire Incident: Town planning officer, three other govt officials arrested
Source (ANI)

Rajkot police in Gujarat arrested four government officials, including a town planning officer (TPO) on on Thursday, May 30. The arrests have been done in connection with the devastating fire at TRP game zone on May 25 that claimed 27 lives.

TPO M D Sagathia, assistant TPOs Mukesh Makwana and Gautam Joshi, and former station officer of Kalavad Road fire station Rohit Vigora were arrested, taking the total number of people held to nine, said an official.

"Four government officials have been arrested," confirmed state Director General of Police Vikas Sahay. Nine officials have been suspended in connection with the incident for alleged "gross negligence in allowing the game zone to operate without necessary approvals", as per a government release.

These comprise Joshi, Vigora, Rajkot's chief fire officer IV Kher, his deputy BJ Theba, assistant engineer in the Rajkot Municipal Corporation's town planning department Jaideep Chaudhary, Roads and Buildings department's deputy executive engineers MR Suma and Paras Kothiya, and police inspectors VR Patel and NI Rathod. Three IPS officers, including then police commissioner Raju Bhargava, were shunted out of the city after the fire tragedy.

On Thursday, senior IPS officer Subhash Trivedi, who is heading a Special Investigation Team (SIT) formed by the Gujarat government to probe the incident, quizzed former fire chief Kher at the state police headquarters in Gandhinagar for nearly three hours, sources said. Incidentally, Kher had earlier revealed the game zone was running without the mandatory fire NOC (No Objection Certificate) as the management had never applied for it.

On Monday, the Gujarat High Court had come down heavily on the Rajkot civic body over the game zone fire, saying it did not have faith in the state machinery that gets into action only after innocent lives are lost. The HC had asked Rajkot Municipal Corporation if it had turned a blind eye to such a big structure coming up in its vicinity after the civic body's lawyer submitted that the TRP Game Zone, which was set up in the city's Nana-Mava locality, had not sought requisite permissions. The nine persons held for the tragedy include four owners and a manager of TRP Gaming Zone.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by DNA staff and is published from PTI)


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