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

Rajkot game zone fire: Four children under the age of 12 were among the 28 persons killed in the massive fire that swept through a game zone teeming with people enjoying a summer vacation outing on May 25 evening.

Edited By: Arushi Jaiswal @JaiswalArushi Rajkot Updated on: May 28, 2024 8:08 IST
Rajkot fire
Image Source : ANI Main accused Dhawal Thakkar

Rajkot game zone fire: The prime accused in the Rajkot TRP fire incident was arrested by Banaskantha Local Crime Branch police and Rajkot Police in a joint operation from Abu Road, said police. The accused, Dhaval Thakkar, a resident of Abu Road, fled after the fire in the game zone, which claimed 28 lives.

A case has been registered against six individuals. Three of them, including the gaming zone owner, have already been arrested, while two are still at large. The police have intensified efforts to apprehend the remaining suspects. A court in Gujarat's Rajkot city Monday sent three men arrested in connection with the fire to 14-day police remand.

The six accused – proprietor of Dhaval Corporation Dhaval Thakkar, as well as partners of Raceway Enterprises Ashoksinh Jadeja, Kiritsinh Jadeja, Prakashchand Hiran, Yuvrajsinh Solanki, and Rahul Rathod – had partnered to run the game zone where the fire occurred.

They have been booked under IPC sections 304 (culpable homicide), 308 (attempt to commit culpable homicide), 337 (causing hurt by an act that endangers the life or personal safety of others), 338 (causing grievous hurt to a person by doing an act that endangers their life or personal safety) and 114 (someone present when offence is committed).

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 28 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. Two persons were arrested while an FIR was registered against six partners of the game zone and another accused on various charges, including culpable homicide not amounting to murder, according to officials

The Gujarat High Court on Sunday 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.

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.

(With ANI inputs)

Also Read: Rajkot gaming zone tragedy: Police Commissioner, civic body chief transferred after 28 killed in fire incident

Also Read: 'Did you fall asleep? we do not trust local system and State govt': Gujarat High Court on Rajkot fire

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