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Rajkot game zone fire: Court seeks report from SIT on plea to make IPS, IAS officers accused

The Gujarat government formed a Special Investigation Team (SIT) for a probe into the devastating fire incident at the game zone last week which killed 27 persons.

Edited By: Arushi Jaiswal @JaiswalArushi Rajkot Updated on: May 30, 2024 11:24 IST
Rajkot, Fire
Image Source : PTI Debris being removed from the game zone site where a fire broke out

Rajkot game zone fire: A court in Rajkot, Gujarat, has sought a report from the Special Investigation Team (SIT) investigating the TRP game zone fire on a plea seeking the filing of criminal cases against the transferred IPS and IAS officers, as well as others suspended following the tragic incident.

The 'criminal inquiry plea' requested the filing of First Information Reports (FIRs) against the former Rajkot police commissioner Raju Bhargava, municipal commissioner Anand Patel, along with two transferred IPS officers, and nine officials who were suspended following the May 25 incident, which resulted in the loss of 27 lives.

Court issues notice

Additional judicial magistrate B P Thakar on Wednesday issued a notice to the Special Investigation Team (SIT), seeking a status report of its ongoing inquiry against all the officials by June 20, said lawyer Rajesh Jalu, representing petitioner Vinesh Chhaya.

The petition argued that the grounds on which these officials were transferred or suspended were enough to register an FIR.

The petitioner sought an FIR against these officials under Indian Penal Code sections 304 (culpable homicide not amounting to murder), 337 (causing hurt to someone by acting in a way that is rash or negligent and endangers human life or the safety of others) and 338 (causing grievous hurt to someone by an act that endangers their life or personal safety). "The reason for filing this present complaint has also arisen because 27 persons have died and other persons injured due to their carelessness in duties," the plea said.

The petition said that the TRP game zone was running for the last three-four years without any permissions or licence.

Gujarat govt suspends seven officials 

Meanwhile, the Gujarat government on Monday ordered the suspension of seven officials,  including two police inspectors and civic staff of Rajkot Municipal Corporation, in connection with the Rajkot game zone fire. The officials have been held responsible for their "gross negligence in allowing the game zone to operate without necessary approvals," a government release stated.

Those who have been suspended are Rajkot Municipal Corporation's town planning department assistant engineer Jaideep Chaudhary, assistant town planner for RMC Gautam Joshi, Rajkot Roads and Buildings department's deputy executive engineers MR Suma and Paras Kothiya, and police inspectors VR Patel and NI Rathod, as per orders passed by the respective departments. The RMC later ordered the suspension of Rohit Vigora, the 'station officer' of the RMC's Kalavad Road fire station.

The government's action of suspending officials comes a day after Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel inspected the site where the fire erupted on Saturday and instructed the departments concerned to take strict and punitive action against those responsible for such a serious incident.

Fire at TRP game zone

As many as 27 people, including children, were charred in the fire that broke out at the TRP game zone in the Nana-Mava locality of Rajkot on May 25 evening. The state government has formed a Special Investigation Team and also announced an ex gratia of Rs 4 lakh to the kin of each deceased. The Centre also announced an ex gratia of Rs 2 lakh to the next of kin of each deceased person.

The Gujarat High Court took suo motu cognisance of the fire tragedy, terming it a prima facie "man-made disaster". The HC noted a stock of highly inflammable materials such as petrol, fibres and fibreglass sheets were stored at the facility.

(With PTI inputs)

Also Read: Rajkot fire tragedy: Prakash Hiran, missing game zone partner confirmed dead

Also Read: Gujarat: Police arrest prime accused in Rajkot game zone fire incident

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