The Gujarat High Court on Wednesday asked the state government to submit a detailed report on last month’s fire at a coaching centre in the city of Surat that claimed the lives of 22 students, PTI reported. The court was hearing a petition filed by Jaysukh Gajera, whose 17-year-old daughter died in the fire.
The petitioner urged the court to transfer the investigation into the incident from the Surat Crime Branch to the Central Bureau of Investigation. The High Court asked the police commissioner of Surat to submit details of the progress made in the investigation and the action taken.
On May 24, the fire engulfed the second floor of the Takshashila Complex in Surat’s Sarthana. The building housed at least four coaching centres, one of which was running drawing classes for children. The police have said inflammable materials, including flex banners, present on the fourth floor helped the fire spread.
Gajera demanded action against the civic body officials who had allegedly regularised illegal constructions at the commercial complex. He added that the family of the victims have “reasonable apprehension that the investigation will not be impartial and independent, and the responsible officers will go scot-free”.
“The whole incident took place because there were no safety measures in the building and the said illegal structure was regularised by the authorities,”Gajera claimed.
The petitioner accused the police of shielding municpal corporation officials responsible for the fire. Three officials of the Surat Municipal Corporation and one engineer of Dakshin Gujarat Vij Company were arrested on Tuesday evening, taking the number of arrests in the case to 10, The Indian Express reported.