Indore: A day after seven people were charred to death in Ranipura, the district administration on Wednesday seized fire crackers illegally stored in a godown and four shops. Meanwhile, five cops, including a station incharge, have been line attached for dereliction of duty.
District collector P Narhari has already ordered a magisterial inquiry into the incident. Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan has announced aid of Rs 2 lakh each for the kin of deceased. Narhari said the shop where the fire started was authorised to keep only samples of firecrackers. However, he had illegally stock piled a large quantity of firecrackers.
Talking to Free Press, Sub-Divisional Magistrate Bihari Singh said “Godown of Dilip Patakha House was raided and 10 boxes of crackers were seized. This is the same firm which had illegally stored firecrackers at its shop in Ranipura where the fire had broken out, in which seven persons lost their life.
Besides the godown, the illegal stock of crackers was recovered from four other shops in this area, he said. “Though the firecracker license of Dilip Patakha House was cancelled last year, the shop owner had stored the crackers illegally,” the SDM added.
Indore DIG Harinarayanchari Mishra told Free Press, “Central Kotwali police station incharge CS Chadhar and four other police personne, including SI RC Bidwal, ASI SR Aroliya, head constable Bhagwan Singh and constable Kamlesh, have been line-attached (withdrawn from the field duty) for carelessness in monitoring the illegal storage of crackers.”
Police said that an FIR was registered on the complaint of SDM Bihari Singh against four firecracker shops of Ranipura, including Vindo Balchandani of Siddhivinayaka Fire Works near Kurilvanshiya Dharmashala, Suresh Gera, owner of cracker shop in Ranipura street opposite Suryavanshiya Dharmashala, Mohan Bagani of Sundaram Agency and Sanjay Chaudhari of Sanjay Rakhi and Patakha House under sections 5, 9 (B) and 1(B) of the Explosives Act. Police have also registered a case against deceased owner of Dilip Fire Works Gurinder Singh and his son Dilpreet Singh under Section 304-A of the IPC. The fire broke out on Tuesday in a cracker shop and soon engulfed adjoining shops selling polythene bags and five other outlets.
As many as 20 two-wheelers parked in front of the shops were also gutted in the fire. The fire brigade managed to extinguish fire after six hours. Sources claimed that two fire incidents had been reported from the locality in the past too.
Fire had broken out in Ajay Footwear Shop about a year ago. Second fire incident was reported from another shop of the locality. Following the two incidents, traders and locals had staged a protest demanding that the firecracker shops be shifted from the area.
Student Devendra Verma said that two fire incidents were reported from the locality in the past. However, administration never took them seriously. Tuesday’s mishap could have been averted had the administration taken a preventive step.
Trader Buhanuddin said that local residents had submitted memorandum to administrative officials demanding shifting of firecracker shops from the locality but the officials did not pay heed to their demands.
Local resident Shabbir Hussain said that Ranipura was densely populated and hence no firecracker shop should be allowed in the area. Tuesday’s fire mishap was the third incident in the locality.
Local resident Manoj Solanki said that after Tuesday’s fire, another fire broke out on Wednesday morning. However, it was doused by an alert fire brigade in time.
3 mini-truck with crackers seized from Rau
On the instruction of collector P Narahari, a team of district administration officials led by Tehsilder DD Sharma conducted search at buildings in Rau on Wednesday. According to official information the team raided a house behind Anmol Dhaba in Rau and seized 3 mini-truck firecrackers illegally stored from there. The value of the seized crackers is estimated to be around Rs 20 lakh. The raid was conducted at Aasif Mohammad, Wasim Khan and Irfan Khan.