Rajkot gaming zone fire: Seven officials including police inspectors, civic staff suspended for negligence | Top Updates

Gujarat government suspends five officials for negligence in Rajkot game zone fire that killed 27 after investigations found the facility lacked fire NOC and stored inflammable materials.

Livemint, Written By Jocelyn Fernandes
First Published27 May 2024
Officials inspect the site of a fire accident on the following day of the disaster, at an amusement park facility in Rajkot, in India's Gujarat state on May 26
Officials inspect the site of a fire accident on the following day of the disaster, at an amusement park facility in Rajkot, in India’s Gujarat state on May 26(AFP)

Rajkot Gaming Zone Fire: The Gujarat government suspended seven officials, including two police inspectors and civic staff, on Monday, May 27, for negligence related to the Rajkot game zone fire, which claimed 27 lives, newswire PTI reported.

According to a government release, the officials were found responsible “for their gross negligence in allowing this game zone to operate without necessary approvals”.

The suspension of the seven officials followed Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel's site inspection on Sunday. The Chief Minister instructed the concerned departments to take strict and punitive action against those responsible for the incident.

Update from Rajkot Police

ANI reported that one more accused has been arrested in relation to the case. Accused Rahul Rathore has been arrested by Rajkot police and will be taken to the Court at around 1:30 pm today, officials told ANI.

ACP Radhika Bharai told ANI that police have sent DNA samples to the Forensic Science Laboratory, adding that the bodies of four victims have been identified and handed over to their families.

"We've sent DNA samples to FSL Gandhinagar. Till now, 4 people have been identified, and we have handed over their bodies to their families. We are in constant touch with the family members..." she said.

Facility lacked fire NOC

The facility where the blaze erupted on Saturday, May 25, operated without the required fire No Objection Certificate (NOC).

“The game zone had received permissions from the roads and buildings department. It had also submitted a proof of fire safety equipment to obtain the fire NOC which was under process and not yet completed,” Rajkot Police Commissioner Raju Bhargava told reporters on Sunday, May 26.

The suspended officials are:

The suspended officials include, Jaideep Chaudhary, assistant engineer, Rajkot Municipal Corporation's town planning department; Gautam Joshi, assistant town planner, RMC; MR Suma and Paras Kothiya, deputy executive engineers, Rajkot Roads and Buildings department; Rohit Vigora, Station Officer of Fire and Emergency Services, Rajkot Municipal Corporation; and Police inspectors VR Patel and NI Rathod.

Latest developments

The fire at the TRP game zone in the Nana-Mava locality of Rajkot on Saturday evening resulted in the deaths of 27 persons, including four children.

Police have arrested two persons and registered an FIR against six partners of the game zone and another accused on various charges, including culpable homicide not amounting to murder.

On Sunday, the Gujarat High Court took suo motu cognisance of the fire tragedy, describing it as a prima facie “man-made disaster”. The court noted that highly inflammable materials such as petrol, fibre, and fibreglass sheets were stored at the facility.

The state government has formed a Special Investigation Team to investigate the incident and announced an ex gratia payment of 4 lakh to the families of each deceased.

The central government has also announced an ex gratia payment of 2 lakh to the next of kin of each deceased person.

(With inputs from PTI and ANI)

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