Delhi Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal on Sunday approved a magistrate inquiry into a fire in the city’s Mundka area that killed 27 persons, PTI reported. The inquiry has to be completed within six weeks.
The magistrate will look into departments’s lapses and recommend action against the erring officials. The official will also suggest measures to prevent the recurrence of such incidents.
The fire had erupted on the first floor of a four-storey commercial building near Delhi’s Mundka metro station on May 13. The office of a company that manufactures close-circuit television cameras and routers was located on the first floor.
The building did not have a fire clearance, Outer District Deputy Commissioner of Police Sameer Sharma had said.
The building only had one entry and exit route, which was the reason behind the high number of deaths, said Atul Garg, the director of the Delhi Fire Service.
On Sunday, the owner of the building, Manish Lakra, and the owners of the company, Harish Goel and Varun Goel, were arrested in the case.
Later on Sunday, the Aam Aadmi Party alleged that Lakra was close to former Municipal Corporation of Delhi Mayor Azad Singh, who is also the uncle of Bharatiya Janata Party MP Parvesh Verma. AAP leader Durgesh Pathak alleged that the Hindutva party was responsible for the deaths in the fire.
Pathak alleged that civic authorities gave Lakra protection and allowed illegal industrial activities to continue in the building.
The BJP, however, said that Lakra is neither a party member nor an office-bearer.
Meanwhile, the National Human Rights Commission on Sunday expressed concern about the fire and criticised the “callousness of authorities”. It directed the Delhi chief secretary to file a report in two weeks on action taken against the officers responsible for the fire and on relief and rehabilitation measures for those affected.
“This appears to be the worst case of gross violation of human rights of the victims due to utter apathy and complete dereliction of statutory duties of public servants in the national Capital of Delhi causing loss of valuable lives due to fire