New Delhi, Nov 21: A contractor and an electrician were arrested today in connection with the fire at an east Delhi community hall during a transgender meet which left 14 people dead even as the city government announced a compensation of Rs two lakh each to the next of kin of those killed.
The arrests came after police registered a case of causing death due to negligence in the incident at Nand Nagri in which 30 people were also injured. Sources said the organisers had not taken requisite permission from fire brigade and police for holding the meeting and a case has been registered against them.
“We have arrested Sanjay Aggarwal (38), the contractor, and an electrician Sher Singh,” a senior police official said. Police had suspected a short circuit to be the cause of fire. Delhi government has ordered a thorough probe into the fire incident.
Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit, who visited the injured at the GTB Hospital along with Health Minister A K Walia, said a compensation of Rs two lakh each will be given to the next of kin of those killed in the fire.
The seriously injured will get Rs 50,000 each while those who have sustained minor injuries will get Rs 10,000 each. She also directed the hospital administration to take proper care of the injured.
The tents erected on the grounds of the community hall were completely gutted and the entire premises was engulfed in flames.
Describing the incident as “very tragic”, Dikshit said Sharma has been instructed to look into all aspects of the incident.
Dikshit visited the 33 patients undergoing treatment at various wards of the hospital and instructed the authorities to provide them all possible treatment free of cost.
The Chief Minister said Divisional Commissioner Vijay Dev has been asked to probe the incident and file a report to the government at the earliest.
While most of them were taken to the nearby Guru Tegh Bahdur hospital, four were shifted to Lok Nayak Jai Prakash hospital and two in Maulana Azad Medical college. Majority of the victims were elderly people.
“Most of those who were brought dead to the hospital were in their seventies or eighties. Their bodies were charred beyond recognition. Those who identified them were quiet aged themselves and addressed those dead as their guru and mummy,” a police official at the Guru Teg Bahadur hospital said.
“I never thought that my Guru would meet such a tragic end. Despite all hardships in life, he always kept a smiling face. He adopted me and another four girls. He was in his 80s,” an inconsolable Rumi, hailing from Kolkata, said.
“I made him lie on a bed in one corner of the community hall and had been out for some work. One of the injured told me that he could not run and the burning tent fell on him. He cried for help....”
Another eunuch said that the Delhi chapter did not prove to be lucky for her guru.
“She was very fond of jewellery. Her body was charred beyond recognition. I could recognise her because of her thick and small finger nails and two bangles dangling from her black hands,” the eunuch said.