Surat police on Monday night registered a case against a BJP leader and 14 others in connection with the death of two labourers who died due to asphyxiation during the discharge of “highly toxic wastes” of a colour-manufacturing company.
Kadodara police inspector P A Valvi had lodged a complaint with Kadodara police station against six people, including BJP leader Dhansukh Bhanderi, who run Praharit Pigment company located in Bharuch, and that manufactures colours and chemicals. Bhanderi is also the chairman of Surat Municipal Finance Board.
The two deceased labourers — Bhagwan Bharwad and Bharat Sathiya — had inhaled the toxic wastes when they were being discharged from the tanker to the creek at Chalthan, police said.
The 14 other accused include contractors, sub-contractors of various other firms working with Praharit Pigment, police said. They have been booked under IPC sections 304 (culpable homicide), 284 (negligent conduct with respect to poisonous substance), and 120 (B) (criminal conspiracy), and under section of Environment Protection Act.
Valvi said, “We have booked 15 persons in the case. All of them are absconding.”
Police sources said the incident took place on February 9. The wastes were being carried by a tanker and its driver, Indrajeet Rajput, too got unwell after inhaling the smell of the hazardous wastes, police said. While Rajput became unconscious and was rushed to a hospital, Bharwad and Sathiya died on the spot, police said. On being informed, Kadodara police reached the spot with Gujarat Pollution Control Board (GPCB) officials and sent the bodies for post-mortem.
Reports from Forensic Science Laboratory (FSL) and GPCB stated that the wastes were highly toxic.
When Kadodara police found that the wastes were brought from Praharit Pigment, they started investigating. Police said that the company had given the contract of discharging the wastes to one Mahavir Enterprise owned by Niraj Chhajad in Ankleshwar. Chhajad had further given the contract to Sai Rachna firm owned by Manoj Agrawal for disposal of the chemical wastes. Agrawal had later supplied the wastes to a firm Ayushi Enterprise in Surat.