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Ghatkopar hoarding collapse: Mumbai Crime Branch forms 6-member SIT to probe incident

Mumbai police have registered a case under IPC 304, 338, 337, and 34 against owner Bhavesh Bhide and others at Pantnagar police station. As per the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation, it had not granted permission for the hoarding.

Edited By: Anurag Roushan @Candid_Tilaiyan Mumbai Updated on: May 22, 2024 8:20 IST
Ghatkopar hoarding collapse: SIT formed to probe case
Image Source : PTI A huge hoarding fell on a petrol pump in Ghatkopar area of Mumbai on May 13.

Ghatkopar hoarding collapse: Days after the tragic hoarding collapse incident in Ghatkopar which claimed 16 lives, the Mumbai Crime Branch formed a Special Investigation Team (SIT) to probe into the incident. According to details, the SIT comprises six officers who will now investigate the matter. 

According to the Mumbai Crime Branch, the SIT has conducted a search at the residence of the prime accused, Bhavesh Bhinde, and seized important documents. During these searches, it was discovered that Bhinde holds a total of seven bank accounts across different banks. The police are currently investigating the details surrounding how Bhinde obtained the hoarding contract and the earnings derived from it. Additionally, the SIT has recorded statements from several officials associated with Bhavesh Bhinde's company as part of their ongoing investigation, the Mumbai Crime Branch added. 

Case was transferred to crime branch

Earlier on May 17, the case was transferred to the crime branch of Mumbai Police. The probe was transferred to the crime branch considering its scope, an official said. This came a day after accused Bhavesh Bhinde, director of the Ego Media advertising agency which had erected the hoarding that collapsed on a petrol pump, was sent in police custody till May 26 by a local court. Bhinde, booked for culpable homicide not amounting to murder under IPC section 304, was arrested in Jaipur on May 16. 

Findings of crime branch

The crime branch team recovered five mobile phones and six SIM cards from his possession. Ego Media Pvt Ltd had not obtained permission from the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) to erect the hoarding on Government Railway Police (GRP) land, the police official said. Also, the firm did not conduct a structural audit of the place before installing the hoarding, and used substandard material for the work, he said. Meanwhile, a report prepared by the Director General of GRP about the hoarding collapse incident was forwarded to the Maharashtra home department on Thursday, officials said.

About the incident

It should be mentioned here that a massive hoarding collapsed in Mumbai's Ghatkopar area on May 13 amid strong winds where 16 people were killed and about 75 people were injured. Taking cognizance of the incident, Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde termed it 'unfortunate' and directed the concerned authorities to audit all such hoardings in Mumbai. He also announced an ex-gratia amount of Rs 5 lakh to the victims' next of kin. 

(With inputs from agencies)

ALSO READ: Bhavesh Bhinde, owner of firm behind Mumbai hoarding which killed 16, arrested from Udaipur



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