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  India   Lokayukta seeks report on fire at Kinara hotel

Lokayukta seeks report on fire at Kinara hotel

Published : Sep 26, 2016, 4:49 am IST
Updated : Sep 26, 2016, 4:49 am IST

The Maharashtra Lokayukta has sought a report from the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) chief Ajoy Mehta and the Vinoba Bhave Nagar police station in Kurla on the allegedly botched-up investig

The Maharashtra Lokayukta has sought a report from the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) chief Ajoy Mehta and the Vinoba Bhave Nagar police station in Kurla on the allegedly botched-up investigations into the major fire that took place at City Kinara Hotel at Kurla in October 2015. Eight youngsters lost their lives when a gas cylinder exploded on the mezzanine floor of the hotel, which was found to be illegal.

Civic activists and the victims’ parents had alleged that the investigations carried out by the police, and the chargesheet that was filed and submitted at the Metropolitan Magistrate Court in Kurla in January, was botched.

 

Godfrey Pimenta, a civic activist from Watchdog Foundation, had filed an RTI plea to Hindustan Petroleum Corporation of India (HPCL), the BMC and the fire department. “In their replies, every department has given different reasons for the cause of the fire in the hotel. The fire department claims that the fire was due to a leakage in an LPG gas cylinder, whereas HPCL claims that the fire was not due to a gas leakage and was probably due to a short circuit,” Mr Pimenta said. Also, the chargesheet filed by the police states that the hotel had secured a no-objection certificate with regard to fire safety. But the fire department, in response to the RTI filed by him, said that this was not the case, Mr Pimenta claimed.

 

In their complaint filed to the Lokayukta, the civic activists and parents have pleaded that their grievances be readdressed in order for them to get justice. The complaint, filed through an affidavit in August 2016, adds that the police’s investigations say that the LPG cylinders were supplied to the restaurant by an agency located in Kurla. However, Mr Pimenta claims that in his RTI, HPCL has said that the restaurant owner was not their customer. Even so, the cops are yet to file a case against the owner of the gas-supplying agency.

“We want the Lokayukta to probe as to why the investigation is being botched,” Mr Pimenta said.

Meanwhile, the Lokayukta, in reply to the complaint filed on September 22 said it would take further action once the BMC chief and the senior police inspector of VB Nagar police station submit the report concerned.